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Archive for the ‘television’ Category

To Illustrate, A Mule

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A mule is an animal with long funny ears
he kicks up at anything he hears
His back is brawny but his brain is weak
he’s just plain stupid with a stubborn streak
and by the way if you hate to go to school
You may grow up to be a mule

Except that the way that the Comedy Channel sings Swinging on a Star in this morning’s airing of Hudson Hawk, you take a commecial break right after singing “hate to go…” then after 5 minutes of junk pick right back up at “…to school.”

OK, maybe I sometimes take TV more seriously than the low IQ level it’s clearly aimed at, but I’m a little curious. Is this just plain lazy production programming, letting some computer simply slice the movie up into chunks without any regard for where the axe happens to slice? I doubt it, since they didn’t seem to catch the movie quite so crudely mid-sentence for any subsequent commercial breaks. So then this was the result of an intentional choice made by a production manager? Why, I wonder, did they choose that particular spot in the song for their break, when a line earlier they could have done themselves one better by breaking smack in the middle of either of a pair of two-syllable words, depending on which one best illustrated their own distorted mindset on how to broadcast a movie. Still, let’s be at least a little charitable: they’ve proved the point of the song’s verse by showing us one doesn’t need to go to school to be able to be a TV program manager.

But despite the channel name, it’s not comedy. It’s sheer stupidity.

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Written by macheide

11 May 2008 at 9:40 am

Posted in television

Dishing It Out

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dishing it out
Dish Network burps again.

I wanted to find when an NBA game would be on tonight and schedule it to switch over. Instead, this black -and-white pretender took over the set. After which, none of the remote buttons would respond, not a single one. Turning the TV off and back on did nothing to remove the screen. Nor would the satellite box itself even turn off (and it didn’t occur to me to just throw the fuse on the whole damn thing).

I’m dangerous with a remote under such circumstances, so sought for assistance, but everyone else in the house was busy, so I experimented further. Finally, switching control of the set to TV, changing the channel to produce total static, then switching back to the satellite channel gave me the following, which then took several minutes to find something overhead:

dish burp 2 dish burp 3

dish burp 4
And finally my TV broke loose of the block of ice Dish in which had encased it.

Daring it to repeat its burp, I again navigated to the theme menu. This time, it worked fine: this is what that first black-and-white screen was supposed to look like.

I’ve not been terribly impressed with Dish lately. That doesn’t mean I’m going to be looking around. The local cable company already stole too much of my money for extended periods of absolutely no service, and I’m not interested in asking them to steal from me again. I’ll just put up with these burps and experimenting with the remote.

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Written by macheide

9 May 2008 at 6:20 pm

Posted in television

Tunnel Vision

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tunnel vision

OK, what games are Dish Network satellites playing here? My fave channels list is stuck on TMCXW where it had landed overnight, giving me nothing to watch but The Odd Couple II.

tunnel vision 2

Susan‘s fave channel list is just as exciting.

tunnel vision 3

Since I know that CNBC is channel 208, I can manually navigate there by clicking in the numbers. Now Dish Network thinks that’s the only thing on the air.

Gives new meaning to the common saying, “There’s nothing on TV.”

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Written by macheide

7 May 2008 at 10:20 am

Posted in television

Bent Hurt

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Ben-Hur was getting his revenge again this morning on Turner Classic Movies.

Remined me of the hilarious commercial TCM once broadcast, a well-done spoof of this same classic. (Nice some of the things one can find on YouTube.) A hundred times better – more, even – than the junk one sees during the Super Bowl.

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Written by macheide

2 March 2008 at 5:27 pm

Posted in television

RSS Wish List – “Is It Safe?”

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Marathon Man will be on TCM this coming Saturday early morning.

I found that the hard way – going to each of Dustin’s movies one by one on IMDB (which I hate anyway, since they over-clutter it with worthless junk) until I found one of his with an upcoming TV showtime.

There’s got to be a better way, although I’m not holding my breath thinking IMDB would be the ones to do it. But with personalized RSS already years established, it ought not be all that difficult a process for an RSS feed to be automatically created from the intersection of an individual user’s fave movie list with published TV schedules, so that a line fed into a suitable blog reader (I use and heartily recommend Bloglines) would let one know when a fave is coming to the big bright green pleasure machine.

Yeah sure, in this case I could merely pull Marathon Man out of the DVD cabinet. But there are too many that I don’t own on DVD that do come up on TV without getting my attention. I know, that has to rank as one of life’s smallest of tragedies in a world of courageous cancer patients and a liar for a President and nobody worth voting for this coming November and tax forms awaiting the formaphobe. Even so, if I care to know if it’s safe to turn on the TV, a simple RSS response ought not be like pulling teeth.

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Written by macheide

24 February 2008 at 8:27 am

Posted in macheide, television

8-Second Attention Span

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OK, I’ll ‘fess up: I have been turning into a bullriding fan.

I do have a ready excuse: Susan won’t let me actually ride the beasts, so the best I can do is spectate. Or hope that someday they’ll have alpaca-riding events.

My recent “interest” was a combo of having nothing else worth watching on TV as I’m settling down toward sleep, having some fun playing with the new satellite dish that gives me more control over scheduling programs to come on automatically, finding out that we have a station that regularly delivers bullriding almost every night at 10pm, teasing Susan by continually having our TV switch to that, and pretending that watching enough of such fun might make a cowboy of me. Now the joke’s on me: not only do I know the difference between a sub-80 ride and a 90-plus ride, but I can usually score within a point of where the judges will put it. And I’m even starting to be able to identify my favorite bulls. (Yes, I cheer for the bulls, not for the cowboys.)

Tonight, though, I won’t need to have the television switch over. There will be more than enough bull on the screen all night long, what with all the candidates and commentators telling us what Super Tuesday means to our own rough rides into the future.

Except in this case, I have no favorite bull. All of it is plain old country-variety crap.

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Written by macheide

5 February 2008 at 5:17 pm

Posted in jourbeau, television

Not Even Worth Background Noise

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Eh, serves me right for having Tom Cruise serve as background television in the first place. But then ABC decides to ditch the movie for some idiotically endlessly long intermission thing – what was that piece of junk, an ABC self-serving commercial? – for some stupid show of theirs I never cared to have filling my ears anyway. As good an illustration as you could put together for why I never bother to watch ABC except when I go braindead like I did here – you’re either already numb enough to have already been watching their junk so didn’t need this stupid commercial of theirs reminding you how badly you’d already wasted your time with them, or else you had been doing your best to steer clear of that kind of junk food so didn’t care to have it shoved down your throat in lieu of Tom Cruise’s own brand of farce. Whatever. I didn’t care to see the rest of War of the Worlds anyway. But at least ABC had my attention long enough to remind me why I won’t tune into them again for maybe a year or so, longer if I’m lucky.

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Written by macheide

2 February 2008 at 9:48 pm

Posted in television