Watching TV

Posted in Television on November 27th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: I’ve watched a lot of television since the 60s, which was the time I got hooked on it all. But this year has been a bit different. For the first time in memory, I’ve not added a new show to the ones I watch in prime time, and in fact, have dropped a few. The only prime time shows still on my radar are the three Law & Orders, and 24, although 24 is rapidly losing my interest. I stopped watching The West Wing, and don’t watch any sitcoms, except the original (UK) Coupling, when I remember to dial it up. I watch SNL, having been there since the beginning, and also dial up MAD-TV. I tape Ebert & Roeper, and the occasional Charlie Rose. The Daily Show is also required viewing.

It seems like a lot of tv, but the big difference is that many of my evenings are free because I’ve dropped most of the prime time stuff. And because I have digital cable, I can see four east code feeds of ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX (three from Detroit, one from Rochester NY, as far as I can tell). As such, I can watch shows on those networks three hours ahead of the same shows I’d normally see three hours later on Spokane cable. For example, rather than wait until 12:30 am to watch SNL on a Sat night, I can watch (or tape it) at 9:30 that evening.

Taken Away

Posted in Miscellaneous on November 24th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: A few days ago I lamented Safeway’s decision to stop serving Italian wedding soup as one of their deli products. Last weekend, I went to Staples, wanting to purchase a few Easy Stick double-sided adhesive cartridges, and a couple Staedtler Lumocolor 313 Superfine pens. I could find neither product, and ensuing discussions with a Staples staff member proved fruitless. Short answer: they don’t carry these items anymore.

For years I wore the Reebok Newport walking shoe. Simple, straightforward, basic shoe, about $60Cdn, heckuva deal, as they say in Minnesota. A few weeks ago, I visited a shoe store where in the past, I purchased these shoes. I couldn’t see any about, so asked a clerk for help. I might as well have been staring into the eyes of a chicken – no such shoe exists, there is no Reebok Newport Classic anymore. Reebok still makes the Classic, but there is no Newport.

For many years, my mother sold nutrimetics. The line of men’s products was called Bavarian, and I really, really liked the soap and aftershave. A few years back, nutrimetics stopped producing the Bavarian line, and replaced it with another family of products that in my estimation, didn’t come close to its predecessor.

A new word needs to be coined or invented, in the English language, to describe when this happens. The definition of the word would read something like: when a product or service one likes, uses and purchases regularly, is suddenly withdrawn from market and made no longer available, resulting in feelings of anger and frustration for the consumer.

Loss of Control

Posted in Blogging on November 23rd 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: When composing an entry for your blog, remember to try really, really hard, not to accidentally hit CTRL and W keys together, the combination of which closes the page you’ve been working on, resulting in the loss of everything you’ve just written.

Like I just did.

Good night.

Opus Comes Home

Posted in Pop Culture on November 22nd 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: Opus is in the house. After a ten-year hiatus, Berkeley Breathed has returned Opus to the weekend colour comics page. Life is sweet.

:: E-mails and hackers have become the subject of cartoonists, as have music file swappers.

Snow and Rumours of Snow

Posted in Sports on November 19th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: Snow. Lots of it, everywhere. On the roads, on the grass, on the sidewalk, on your driveway. It snowed here all day, by 5:00 pm the roads were so bad that it took me 65 minutes to drive home (usually a 15 minute drive on a good day.) Thankfully it stopped around 8:00 pm, and it’s now clear and cold.

It’s a good thing the snow stopped now, because on Saturday, there will be two outdoor hockey games in Edmonton involving the Montreal Canadiens and the Edmonton Oilers. One is an old-timers game featuring the likes of Wayne Gretzky and Guy Lafleur, followed by a regular-season game in the evening, the first outdoor NHL game in league history. The game, designated The Heritage Classic, is a sell-out, and will break the previous NHL attendance record by over 25,000 – expected attendance is 56,159, all of whom will need to dress warmly, as the high that day is predicted to be -7C, and it will be much cooler than that by the evening. A specially designed rink is being prepared for the game. The game coincides with the NHL’s 86th anniversary of its founding, and the 25th year of the Oilers in the league. The game is being broadcast in HDTV.

I’ve lived in Edmonton since 1978, but have always cheered for the Habs, and would love to attend the game, but no such luck. Tickets were awarded to names drawn from entries mailed in months ago, and I never made the time to enter. The outdoor game has already invoked a bit of nostalgia for me. As a kid, I played hockey for five years (not well, mind you!), and spent many a night on an outdoor rink, often helping to shovel snow from the ice surface so a game could happen. I played street hockey for years as well, with whichever kids were available at the time.

Really, Really Tiny Guitars

Posted in Technology on November 19th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: As a guitar player of some 37+ years, I was interested to see this news release about the new, Flying V NanoGuitar. It falls under the category of NEMS (Nanoelectromechanical Systems), which is two orders of magnitude smaller than MEMS (Microelectromechanical Systems).

The original “nanoguitar“, about the size of a blood cell, was developed in 1997.

I’m looking forward to the first CD release of nanoguitar music!

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