Risks and Rewards in a TV Rotten World

I find myself really interested in the TV show Ink Master.  Before you say it, yes, I should get back to my hobbies and stop watching TV.  I have so many half finished projects that all of the internet should rise up and scold me for not sticking to the topic.  I just can’t help myself.  And for a lot of people, TV is a hobby.  It just shouldn’t be mine.

I watch the show, and I have so many questions.  First of all, should you be getting a tattoo with a time limit?  I understand the need to put a limit on someone for a television show/competition.  Without time pressure these people could certainly all put out some works of art.  However, would you want your tattoo artist to feel such pressure?  Despite remarkable advances in laser erasing, these things are still pretty permanent.

Next, after getting a tattoo would you really like to hear the experts tell the person who did it that it was an absolute piece of garbage?  Yeah, you might have enough self confidence to deflect that…a few times.  Imagine if every single person you know (from those you like right down to the complete idiots that you hate) has seen the show and starts echoing those comments–and remember the idiots are not going to be echoing them, they are going to be repeating them word for word.  Instead of that stupid “hot enough for ya?” question the idiot usually peppers you with, it will be “why does that spider tattoo have only seven legs?”

I am guessing that there must be some kind of consolation prize for these people.  I wonder what it is.  I wonder if it could really be enough.  Would you get the seven legged spider tattoo if your prize was a Toyota Corolla?  Maybe it’s cash.  Maybe it is a pre-paid gift card for tattoo removal.  Maybe the need to be on television is so great, your skin is really a secondary concern.

I guess I could liken it to a hair cutting show.  Your hair grows back, though.  Would you sign up for a show called “Practice Surgeon”?  What about “rookie fireman”?–I have an image of them setting your house on fire, hoping they can rescue you and put out the fire.

Despite my questions, I will probably tune in tonight before going to bed.  Last week I fell asleep, so I have no idea who went home.  This isn’t really an obstacle as there will be a recap at the beginning of tonight’s program.

Collection Intervention?

It is pretty obvious that I have collected a lot of stuff in my life.  If you’ve been reading these posts for a while, you will have probably read my inadvertent collection post (maybe even both of them), but, I am not really a collector.  I collect stuff (inadvertently) but I don’t have a massive collection of anything…probably because I don’t have the money for it all.  Nonetheless, in a show of comradeship with my richer (and therefore not less fortunate) brethren, I must protest this new show on television called “Collection Intervention.”

Basically the show goes to the houses of people who have huge collections that have taken over their lives.  They have rooms and rooms of stuff, often so much that there isn’t any room to display it.  While I am not that kind of person, I can’t really bring a lot of scorn to these people.  They are not hoarders, just misguided.  This is not the part of the show that makes me write this.

The host, and counsellor, is one of the women from that great PBS show History Detectives.  And this is where this rant begins.  No, I can’t criticize her role on the show.  She performs admirably.  However, I have some problems.

so, this one is not about stamps, but this is a collection
  1. Is she really qualified to help these people?  The seem to suffer from some emotional or psychological issue, and probably need more than a host telling them they’ve got to get rid of some stuff.
  2. If she is good at this, is her role on History Detectives fakes as well.  I love that show.  I watch it even if I have no love or knowledge of the topic.  Sometimes they have whole shows about the civil war…..and I’m Canadian.  I still watch.  Now, I will carry around a bit of doubt with me.
  3. There is nothing intervention like about this program.

I doubt if I will watch this program again unless the collector actually collects something that I am really interested in…….okay, I realize, with my lengthy list of interests, it is highly likely that some collector in need of a television intervention by an ex PBS host probably collects something that I am interested in.  It is pretty inevitable after all.


A Friend in Need…… Indeed

My friend needs a hobby.  Obviously, as a proponent of hobbies I feel like everyone needs a hobby.  My friend, however, needs one more than most.  Most people have hobbies, whether they see them as hobbies or not.  Some people follow sports, some follow TV shows (collecting their seasons either by buying the DVD’s or acquiring them from some online source),  and then some take up jogging.

My friend, though athletic, doesn’t want to take up a fitness trend.  There are lots of them out there now–there are quite a few infomercials dealing with that–and I know some people who have become absolutely ripped doing them.  My friend doesn’t want to pursue the kinds of hobbies I do–building model trains or cars doesn’t suit him.  Maybe he doesn’t think he has the dexterity (maybe he doesn’t) or the patience, or even an eye for colour (he’s American so he would prefer I write that he doesn’t have an eye for color–but it’s my blog dammit, and I will write the way I want.

I know, I should probably let him pick out his own hobby.  And normally I would do this.  Really, who wants someone telling them what to do.  Well, in fact, in the end, he will choose for himself.  I just want my readers (few in number, but strong in wisdom) to give his some advice.

Left to his own devices my friend has considered some hobbies on his own, though the results have only given me cause for worry.  He has proposed indulgence in heroin and other recreational chemicals, and though he was kidding, the fact that the joke crossed his mind means he is bored and wants to do something.

His latest proposal is pipe smoking.  I can’t gauge his seriousness because our Skype connection doesn’t allow for really good reading of facial details.  I suspect he is serious.  Then again, do people still smoke pipes?  I don’t recall seeing anyone do that in a long time.  I know that there are still tobacco shops (at least in Canada) but I thought that they were mostly for people who want to buy Cuban cigars, or rolling papers for smoking marijuana–though I do go there to buy pipe cleaners to clean my airbrush– but they always have to root around in a drawer for them, so they can’t be that popular–can they?

My friend has shown an affinity for some TV shows, but he gets bored easily.  He could become a movie watcher, but I am not sure he has the patience.  Basically he needs something that he can pickup, and drop at a whim, that won’t take up too much space, won’t require too much concentration or money, and doesn’t involve a huge effort.   I am not sure he wants other people to be involved or not.

I have presented a negative picture of my friend, and as for thinking of a hobby that is very intentional.  I have proposed many things, only to be shot down, so I have stopped doing that.  However, my friend is a good person, a GREAT friend, incredibly moral and loyal, puts other people above himself far too often, as well as being funny and helpful.

He does crosswords, and he might be working on a Codeword book I sent him.  In addition to that he is a voracious reader, and has a huge amount of stories buried deep inside him.

I want to help, but frankly, I am stumped.

A Puzzling Life

I must confess to some geekdom…. I should probably confess to a lot, but since the blog is doing it for me, I can forgo that for now.  Back to my confession.  I love puzzles.  I love crosswords, Sudoku, word search, the jumble, mind puzzles, lateral thinking puzzles, logic puzzles, and yes, things like the Rubik’s Cube.

Being able to solve the Rubik’s Cube is an honour which lies somewhere between useless and dubious.  It certainly doesn’t help me meet women, and other than surprising some of my students–who quickly ask me how fast I can do it–curse you YouTube, curse you.  I can do it but I am no record holder.  Shouldn’t that be good enough?  As I was saying, other than surprising my students, it doesn’t do much else for me.

I remember watching a “reality” TV show called “Beauty and the Geek”,  One of the contestants (guess which one?) was unpacking their luggage when they produced multiple cubes.  When questioned why so many cubes were needed, the reply was, “Just in case.”

Since that day I have wondered what that meant.  Just in case what?  Is there something about the Mayan Calendar prophecy that I don’t know?  Maybe I’ve got some kind of edge.  Maybe cube solvers will rule the new order.  Probably all that guy meant was that he would have something to do if the internet went down.

I learned to solve the Rubik’s Cube from a book.  I got it as a Christmas gift while still in elementary school.  Oddly enough, I did those moves so many times that I haven’t forgotten them more than 28 years later.  I guess there really is something to muscle memory.

I had a whole collection of these puzzles.  I had a pyramid, a missing link puzzle, a tower with colour graduated balls.  I think the people in my life wanted to get me on that TV show That’s Incredible.