February 28th, 2009 by Richard
I hate February. I really, really hate February. And it has nothing whatsoever to do with dreary days and cold-as-heck nights. No, my problem with February is the television schedule. This is the month that has both American Idol and Survivor on to torment the willing and to drag the unwilling down into reality-show hell to suffer and suffer and suffer and suffer.
My wife, known to me as rassen frassen snargle gsuer gar drassen, loves both American Idol and Survivor. And when I say loves, I am not in the least exaggerating. I’ve a feeling that if either of these shows had bodies even slightly less hideous than Quasimodo’s, she’d leave me for either of them in a heartbeat.
For years, I thought she was without flaw. Well, without flaws that I would be able to mention and still be alive a couple of moments later at any rate. But then this reality show craze hit and I realized she has a severe deficit in determining what’s good versus what’s crap. I know. I know. I probably shouldn’t complain too much since that’s probably the flaw that let her get married to me, but this thing is killing me.
It was pure bliss when she was away in Italy for nine days for a conference. I didn’t watch four hours of American Idol, nor did I watch the season premiere of Survivor. I loved it. I could watch television without fear of my ears rupturing or my ears bleeding. Then she came back. Not only did she have to catch up on what she missed, but then she had to start watching that week’s shows. Over the last week or so, I’ve been subjected to at least 10 hours of American Idol and three hours of Survivor. This thing is killing me.
Sure, I’ve developed defense mechanisms like reading a book so intently I hardly notice what’s actually playing on the television, but that only works for so long. Then she’ll ask me a question or make a comment and want a response. I can only say, “Huh?” so many times before things start getting lofted in my direction.
The thing that gets me the most, though, is how invested she is in these shows. She picks favorites and hurts when they don’t do well or thrills when they make the right move. Over the course of a couple of months, just a couple of hours a week, it’s like these shows become Banquo’s ghost here at the house. They’re always hovering around in the background, flavoring every conversation, dulling every meal.
Yeah, sure, I could go into another room, but, by golly, my favorite chair is in the room with the television and I’m not giving that up. Old? What do you mean, old? Whatever. I’m not giving up my chair. It’s too comfortable.
Of course, now I know what Michael Palin really meant when the Spanish Inquisition called for the “comfy chair.” Yeah, that can be torture.
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Tags: A Dude's Guide to Marriage
, American Idol
, Cruelest Month
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, Nine Days
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, Reality Show
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, Television Schedule
February 27th, 2009 by Richard
Blogging about blogging is still a sin, but I just can’t help myself. I get bored easily.
First the good news present in looking at our latest crop of statistics: Nobody looking for naked dudes blogging searched for that term and found our site. Whew! That’s a load off my mind, let me tell you. I was worried I was going to start posting pictures of me or Barry on a sheepskin rug in front of a roaring fire with our laptops strategically propped open. And, really, I’m not sure anyone wants to see that, but, you know, you got to give the people what they want.
I’ll pause here for just a moment to let you try and scrub those images out of your brain. You can use my mental brillo pad if you’d like. I find it works great, even if I do get a bit of a headache and see far too many pretty colors for about an hour afterwards.
In looking back over the past month, I saw with barely restrained glee that the day we had our biggest traffic was also the day I posted some of my own fiction. Now, I’m not saying that’s because I’m a marvelous writer, but I’m not saying it isn’t. You know, for someone trying to slap himself on the back for his writing ability, that last sentence really sucked, didn’t it?
It seems as if the Dude’s Guide to Cooking is still bringing folks in. We had a couple of search requests looking for a good chicken chili and they — eventually — (it was way down on the Google search pages) found it here on the site.
Actually, I think this was a first for us this month. We didn’t have anyone use the word naked in the search requests that brought them here. You know, I’m feeling a bit let down by the internet here. I mean, what ever happened to wanting to know all about naked fatherhood? Naked cooking? All the stuff that makes life worthwhile? You know, maybe it’s for the best.
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February 26th, 2009 by Richard
Yes I am old. You can tell that by the way that, when I’m texting someone, I actualy spell out all the words and even use punctuation. Well, either old or extremely anal retentive. Who knows? Maybe both. I’ve always rather looked a bit askance at those who start dropping vowels and using those silly texting abbreviations. I mean, it’s not all that hard to spell things out and, I think, it even enhances the readability of your message. Which, after all, is the goal of good communication.
There are those out there worried that the constant texting, using all those strange abbreviations, is actually harming the ability of our younger little dudes and teen dudes to read and comprehend standard written text. Well, according to those wacky dudes at New Scientist, that turns out not to be the case. Seems a couple of eggheads over in the UK (to be distinguished from the normal type of egghead you find in the UK, these were actual research scientists), did a study with a group of little dudes from ages 10 to 12.
The kids were asked to text a description of 10 different scenarios. Then they were given separate tests of their reading ability. Turns out that the kids with the higher number of textisms (CUL8R and the like) had better scores in reading ability. Okay, fine. But the question remained, do kids with better reading ability use more textisms or does the use of more textisms promote better reading? Obviously, I’m not the first to ask that question because those aforementioned eggheads have been doing follow-up studies and it looks like the use of textisms actually does promote a better reading ability.
They think there could be two reasons texting helps promote better reading ability. Firstly, most textisms are based on phonics, that is, they are spelled like they sound. And phonological awareness has been previously shown to help improve reading ability. Secondly, these kids are actually writing on their own and they’re enjoying it. Anything you do for fun is normally something you get better at.
I, however, will stick to my old man ways. LOL. I mean, it’s not like there’s nothing wrong wit speling stiff out or nothing.
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