Even now, I continue to watch TV like a blind man

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2011/01/02 07:01 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2011/01/02/10110880.aspx

Nothing technical here whatsoever. Go away! :-)

It was probably about ten years ago that I bought a flat-screen TV.

It may have been a bit longer. It's not like I was paying that much attention.

It was a Samsung something-or-other that I bought at Sears, putting the old CRT-type television I used to have in the living room into the bedroom.

I simply wasn't watching enough TV to really do anything more up to date than that.

TV would be on in the background while I would be at my computers, which were also in the living room.

It was pretty much always on when I was home, and since I was never paying that much attention, a television program episode would (on average) have to be on at least four times for me to have probably seen the whole episode.

I didn't mind, since pretty much everything I was watching, such as

and so on, were pretty much in continuous reruns between Bravo and/or TNT and/or USA and/or SOAPNET. So there would always be one of them on.

Sometimes there would be a run of five House reruns on USA and in the middle of that one new episode of House on FOX. Almost always, I would leave it on USA so that I did not have to change the channel. I mention this so you get an idea of exactly how "least effort" my television habits were and are.

Then maybe 2 years ago, the tube blew on my Samsung something-or-other flat-screen TV.

I know it was not literally a blown tube since it was a flat-screen TV. But after turning it on with a screen that looked normal for five minutes or so, the screen stayed almost entirely black, even with every setting put in to put a much brightness as possible. And then after I left and turned it off then came back at the end of the day and it turned it on, the cycle would repeat.

So, not a blown tube. But basically I had no way to look at the TV anymore; I could only listen. So, whatever you would call that.

I don't know the exact term.

In my mind, I was watching TV like a blind man.

Now I knew eventually I would just go to Sears and pick up another TV and have them come and take away the old one/put in the new one. But I was in no hurry really.

I didn't care enough about anything I was watching that I had to see it.

People I knew who had seen this state of affairs would tease me about it, asking what if I wanted to watch the new Entourage, or Californication? What if I wanted to see the latest whatever playing on Cinemax because Kaylani Lei or Monique Alexander was on and I was bored?

I tole them that I was not really such a visual person that I had see these things, and I couldn't really be said to really be watching the shows anyway. It just wasn't that important to me.

I did miss being able to watch Jenni Hogan or Lily Jang in the morning, but I followed them on Twttter/Facebook and could always see the pictures or small videos they showed. Even Jenni's Fashion Friday was always available. Who needs the screen?

Now over time I became quite adept at the sounds -- I could "carbon-date" shows by the characters I heard and sometimes even by the way they talked before I could even figure out which episode was on since I had seen most fo them before.

I knew when to switch from USA because wrestling came on since I hated wrestling.

And so on.

No too long ago, I was talking to Liz's sister (yes, theLiz, my Perfectly Normal Liz).Her sister had taken to calling me once in a while, just to talk about whatever. She had admitted to me that even though their mother still blamed me for Liz's death that she had decided she didn't feel that way at all, and felt a little bit more connected to her sister. Maybe I feel the same way about them a little bit too.

Anyway, I happened to mention (as I was turning the sound down, during one of these calls) about this setup. She was shocked that I could go so long having a TV but never watching it.

I assured her that it was just fine.

But in her mind, this bothered her a lot.

Which is why she decided to buy me a new Vizio flat-panel LCD TV.

Not a huge one, but nice enough and light enough for me to be able to install it without needing any help.

I called her to tell her that she was freaking insane. Even if it was on sale.

But she invoked Liz and talked about how she knew Liz would be happy with her about it and how I can think about it as a gift from Liz and could I really deny that Liz would have one the sane and eventually she wore me down. I finally agreed not to send it to her instead, and I stopped threatening to Paypal her the money (though I looked p what the TV probably cost and have almost done that four times now, so maybe one day soon I'll just do that -- even now her buying it seems weird, once I am out of the reality distortion field that is her voice).

Although it was light and easy to install, the old Samsung is not so light; luckily once I push the Samsung all the way against the wall there is enough room on the cabinet to fit them both.

One day I'll have ask one of the maintenance guys at the complex here to come by and help me get rid of the old TV (they do that kind of thing for free), but no hurry. This is working okay now, so i feel no strong need to get rid of the old one.

I find the new screen to be mildly distracting when I occasionally look over at it -- changing hairstyles and such that I can't place yet if I close my eyes I can better recognize when it is from than the visual clues.

So I am still kind of watching TV like a blind man.

And every once in a while I look over and think of Liz (and this very nice yet crazy thing her sister did that I admit she herself probably would have done), and smile....

John Cowan on 2 Jan 2011 7:25 AM:


I can write email and such with the TV on, but I would never voluntarily put it on to do so.

Writing code needs SILENCE.

Michael S. Kaplan on 2 Jan 2011 7:41 AM:

The white noise actually helps me -- silence has never been conducive to my creativity....

Brad Wilson on 2 Jan 2011 9:53 AM:

I'm with Michael. Silence is a concentration killer for me for almost everything I do on a daily basis, though I usually use music and not television. Even when I have writing to do, I tend to use music. Coding music and writing music are definitely different choices, though. :)

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