Sunday, September 26, 2010

My Wife, The Forensic Scientist

So many people say that television will rot your brain.  In some ways I agree.  As a child I we had only 3 channels, all in living color.  My dad bought a state-of-the-art device that allowed him to adjust the aerial remotely.  This meant there was a remote chance of picking up additional channels.  Those of us who were kids in the pre-cable days remember the anguish of the State of the Union address which meant the President was on all of the channels and there really was “nothing on”.  That was before cable television invaded our homes.  Now we have more than 100 channels to choose from, many of them dedicated to a single topic, like golf, sports, and even news.  Television may rot our brains, but sometimes it can teach us valuable tools.

My wife is a big fan of the mystery genre. Not only does she enjoy reading those types of books she also likes the TV shows. Some of our favorites shows are Castle, The Closer, Bones, and The Glades. She is good at solving many of the murders before they get to the end.  Her mind just works that way.  Me, I usually solve it exactly when the reveal it at the end of the show, don’t you?

Anyway, one evening we were watching TV when I noticed some bright spots on the screen.  My first reaction was, “oh no, the TV is broken.”  Most people would be happy for an excuse to buy a new set, but I would rather put the money into home improvements.  I walked over to the TV and took a closer look.  When I touched the bright spot, I discovered it was a liquid of some kind.  It was clear and odorless, but I wasn’t sure if it was tasteless or not.  Relieved that the TV wasn’t broken I stood back up.  I noticed that there will similar drops on the picture hanging on the wall behind the TV and on the wall too.  My first impulse was to check for a leak in the ceiling right above the fan, but there was nothing there.  I needed to investigate more. I looked at the drops on the wall and they seemed to have the same properties.  When I asked Debi what she thought she reminded me that the dog had just gone crazy trying to shake the stuffing out of one of her toys.  My first reaction was that it was dog spit; suddenly relieved that I didn’t check for a discernable taste.  She then points out a trail of water coming from the animals’ drinking fountain into the living room.  Upon further investigation she noticed the toy the dog was playing with was wet.  Next, came the flashback montage where she explained what happened.

She threw the toy into the kitchen.  The toy landed partially in the drinking fountain.  The dog picks it up and runs into the living room, leaving a trail of water behind.  The dog displays her rage by viciously shaking the toy splattering the wall and TV.  Mystery solved.  I guess I should continue to pay the cable bill.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Play it again Sam

Before anyone writes to me and tell me that the quote I used for the title of this piece is wrong, rest assured I know that.  I have seen Casablanca and remember what Rick said in the movie, but that is not what this is all about.

Over the last year I found that I listen to live radio less and less.  I can’t find a station that will play the music I want to listen to at the time I want to hear it.  I also discovered the wonderful world of podcasts.  I typically listen to books read by their author(, and sermons by prominent Christian teachers.  With the invention of the MP3 player and the ability to carry your entire music collection in your pocket, why would you listen to radio?

Nowadays radio is filled with “jibber-jabber”, commercials, and outlandish contests rather than hours upon hours of music.  Much like what happened to MTV, for those of you who remember it when it started; but I digress.  I prefer to plug in my MP3 player and decide what to play, or just put it on shuffle.  If I don’t like what’s playing I just hit the “next” button and something else plays.  You can’t do that with live radio!

Anyway, my wife and I were on our way to Mobile to visit our daughter at college; it’s a 3-hour drive, a 3-hour drive [thunder crash/lightening flash].  Sorry to all of you who never watched Gilligan’s Island.  We just turned on the radio for the trip and were rewarded with a variety of songs including Elton John, One Republic, some commercials, and mention of a contest for tickets to a local play.  About 30 minutes into the trip the John Tesh show came on with a good mix of music and interesting tidbits about how to improve your life.

A short time later we stopped for breakfast and to stretch our legs.  I know it is a relatively short drive, but the older you get the more you need to stop and stretch.  When we were back on the road, we noticed that the John Tesh show was not on anymore.  We thought it odd, but what can you do?  Then we noticed that they were playing the same music, commercials, and contest notices that was on when we started the trip.  This continued when the John Tesh show started about 30 minutes later, again with the exact material that was broadcast earlier.  Unfortunately by the time that show was getting to new material the signal was fading; and so began the search for something else to listen to.