Who Am I?

My photo
A nobody; a nitwit; a pilot; a motorcyclist; a raconteur; a lover...of life - who loves to laugh, who tries to not take myself (or anything) too seriously...just a normal guy who knows his place in the universe by being in touch with my spiritual side. What more is there?

05 January 2008

More Spears Family Drama

Yes, I own a television, but I do not have cable. I get one local channel and a PBS station. When I got back from Honduras I decided that there was just nothing on t.v. that I wanted to see anymore. I'm tired of all the "reality" shows and "crime scene" shows. And just how many "Law and Orders" are there? I guess I'm just burned-out on tv. So now I get my media fix almost exclusively from the internet.

We've been up here at the hunting camp for the past week or so. I could have gone back home after dropping the Boss off, but as long as he's here with a hunting party, I'd feel really, really badly if someone got hurt and the helicopter was not available to take them to a hospital. We are waaaaaaay out in the woods here. Since I'm not really a hunter (oh yeah, I fit in well with this crowd...not!) I get to hang around the camp house most of the time...watching television. My stupid laptop - my stupid, stupid laptop has picked this time to crap out on me.

Just as you should probably not buy a gun from a shady guy on a streetcorner, you probably shouldn't buy a used laptop either. I need a laptop mainly for writing, email and checking my various aviation newsgroups. I'm not a gamer and I really don't need any fancy programs or features. Just give me a laptop that has a built-in wireless modem and I'm all set.

A not-so-shady friend had just such a computer for sale, cheap. It had been issued to the former owner by a defunct corporation that never asked for it back. Catch was, Windows was password-protected. Try as we might, we could not delete that function. I tried to re-install Windows XP on the thing, but it wouldn't even let me do that without Administrator authority. Okay, no problem, not as long as I remembered my friend's very easy password.

...Until it stopped working. First day I was up here at the camp this week, just like that, entering the password only brought up an error message. What the...? I tried and tried, using every variation and alternate password I could think of. No dice, the computer remains locked up tight. Useless.

There is one other computer here at the camp, but it's the Boss's and my access to it is very limited. Which leaves me few options. I picked up a Michael Crichton novel ("Airframe") and finished it in one marathon day of reading (not his best work, in my opinion). I've read and re-read every aviation magazine and the two Rolling Stone's I brought with me. That left the t.v.

Apparently, nothing of importance happens in this country. Yesterday there were three main stories: The Iowa caucuses, the missing hiker in north Georgia, and Britney Spears breakdown. Over and over and over those three stories were aired. And it didn't matter whether you watched Faux News or CNN.

Last week it was her younger sister, Jamie Lynn. This week it's Britney. Today (Saturday) they are still fascinated with her. And I wonder, why do we care? I certainly don't. Yet everywhere this poor woman goes, scads of photographers follow, documenting her every burp. On the night of her "breakdown," helicopters with bright searchlights turned her house to daylight.

CNN did a big story on the possible causes of Britney's bizarre behavior of late (all of it reported as "news" by CNN, of course). They trotted out some psychiatrist who offered her supposedly knowledgable opinion, as they always do. With absolute seriousness and not the slightest bit of irony, the reporter concluded that perhaps Britney should just take some time off and out of the spotlight.

Statements like this always make me knock my hand against the side of my head and go, "Huh? Did I just hear that right?" I felt like screaming at the t.v., "JUST HOW IS SHE SUPPOSED TO DO THAT WHEN CNN CAMERAS FOLLOW HER AROUND EVERY MINUTE OF THE DAY?!"

I've got the perfect suggestion for Britney: Move to Guanaja! For that is what I feel like doing after a couple of days of being subjected to the American media and the pure unadulterated crap it puts out.

I'm about to go crazy up here. Fortunately, I think I'm also going home today. First stop will be Best Buy or Circuit City for a new, unpassword-protected laptop. God, spare me from having to watch any more lousy American television! On second thought, maybe I will take up hunting. But not deer, oh no! My form of hunting will be different. No television set in the country would be safe...


Redlefty said...

You're freaking me out, man. We don't get cable either and our home computer crapped out today.

Missed the whole Britney thing, thankfully.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious, Bob, would you go with an automatic 12 gauge or double-barrel 10 gauge shotgun to hunt these idiot boxes?


Hal Johnson said...

I was in an Office Depot the other day, and I was surprised to find the number of laptops in stock for 600 bucks or less.

I can identify with the TV thing. The main reason we shell out the bucks for satellite TV is to get the Discovery Channel and the History Channel.

But sheesh, to walk into a room with a TV blaring constantly, often with no one really paying attention, drives me batty. That's the way it is in the lounges at PHI's flight lines all to often. I often fantasize about emptying the magazine my .40 cal into the damned TV.

Should I be worried?

Bob Barbanes said...

Should you be worried, Hal? About what, doing an Elvis impersonation? Only if you start wearing the sequined suits and eating peanut butter and banana sammiches and going, "Uhhhh, thankavrymuch" all the time. (Elvis...shoooting t.v....Robert Goulet...obscure joke...)

What, are all helicopter pilots deaf? I hated those Pilot Lounge t.v.'s - why were/are they always turned up so LOUD? Like you, I used to feel like putting a few rounds through them too...with *my* .40. You have one too? Heh- great minds think alike. Which answers kman's question, by the way, about my weapon of choice. I gots me a Glock, bay-beeeeee and a license to kill...um, televisions.

I thought I'd go through major withdrawal by not getting cable when I came back to the States. But my life is *much* better without t.v., and I really don't miss it. On the other hand, just yesterday up at the camp I was watching The Documentary Channel (who knew!) and I did see a great documentary about Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys and a concert tour he went on recently. Great stuff! God Only Knows how much I love the Beach Boys' music. What a crazy genius, that Brian. Still, glad to see *him* performing his own songs, and not a bunch of his friends doing it posthumously. So I have to admit that cable t.v. does have some redeeming qualities...

Killing t.v.'s will have to wait though. I got the dvd of the BBC's production of Dickens' "Bleak House" which - oh man! - may be the best thing I've *ever* seen on t.v. So I have to watch that again.

La Gringa said...

"Faux News"! That's a good one! Did you make that up, you clever man?

We get Brittney news in the newspaper, too. I don't read it but they love to include the most unflattering photos of her. So it's not just the US ejits that love that stuff, it's everywhere.

And you've got me why anyone cares, except that it is kind of nice to read about someone more screwed up than we are.

Guanaja Sharon said...

Can't agree with you more. I was glad when we moved to Guanaja as there (at that time) was no T.V. connection. Now, it is available but I will not waste my money on it. As you well know, we buy a lot of DVDs many of which are HBO series specials or National Geographic, etc. So, elaborate on the BBC's production of Dickens' "Bleak House" as I've never heard of it and want to know if Mike and I would enjoy it.
Then you can go out and shoot all the T.V.s you want!

David said...

The laptop wouldn't have made it home! Deer camp! Are ya kidding? Nobody would hesitate to hand ya a rifle OR tried to talk ya out of it. LOL! The stuff legends are made of, "Ya'll ever hear about the time that crazy sum-gun bagged the Dell with a 7mm Mag? Ya shoulda seen it!"

Bob Barbanes said...

Gringa, no, I did not make up Faux News. It just fits.

Sharon, I think you and Mike would enjoy "Bleak House" immensely. At least, I hope you would. Then again, tastes are so peculiar. I actually know people who thought the movie "A Fish Called Wanda" was funny. Takes all kinds, I guess...

David, I have too much other "stuff" on the laptop to destroy it if you know what I mean, wink-wink. In fact, once I got home it was a piece o' cake to find a cheap password cracker. Voila! No more passwords! Downloading (on the desktop, of course) the program took the longest; actually using it took only a few moments. Ain't Windows security great?