I spent today laid up on the couch with what I assume is a head cold. Not fun. I was actually surprised that it took me so long to be sick this season, what with my wife being around dirty, dirty dirty fourth graders all day every day. But there I was, sinuses feeling very much bludgeoned and muscles aching like I ran a mile (what can I say, I'm out of shape).
I spent a lot of the day reading Brainiac by Ken Jennings. I'm always on about him, so I won't spend much time lauding his work. I will say, however, that the book does a good job of tying the concept of trivia to larger and more inspiring themes. I'm even more glad now that I never dabbled in Quiz Bowl, and my long-dormant dream of appearing on Jeopardy! is quickly being revived.
I discovered mid-afternoon that PBS puts out a high definition signal around here. Let me tell you, cooking shows are even more scrumptious with that level of clarity. I'm really glad it's not a stomach bug; I didn't have to be denied an afternoon of feasting my eyes. I caught a show this afternoon called Legends of Jazz. They had on a couple of amazing jazz guitarists. Makes me want to aspire to that. One of them was so old that I think with decades of commitment I could come close. I'll mull it over.
I'm kind of hooked on high def PBS now. Tonight I kept flipping over to watch a Frontline episode about the newspaper industry. My wife looks over her laptop screen at me from the next couch and says, "Are you 80?" Unfettered, I try to convince her that the issue of the newspaper industry facing a world where the internet is fundamentally changing the very definition of journalism is something we need to pay notice to. She yawns. Ok fine, I'll flip back to American Idol.
I also watched the newest Fox hit, Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader. I'm hooked. I know it's a dumb idea and that the whole point of the show is to make adults look like idiots. And they do a good job. It's kind of stacked if you ask me. They're trying to get middle-aged people to recall facts they learned twenty or thirty years ago, and comparing it to kids who learned these same facts very recently. There are no clues within the questions to help the adults figure it out, it's purely knowledge recall. And it's delicious. I'm proud to say that I didn't miss a single question in that half hour. The first one was close, however. "In what month is Columbus Day celebrated?" That blindsided me, and I doubt that many kids know this one (maybe the accelerated kids they get to help out on the show).
It's October, by the way.