Thursday, May 2, 2013
A little of this ‘n’ that to bring things up to date. First off, I’ll be sending my TV diary back to the Nielsen company this morning. That’s right, I’m one of those families chosen to determine what all the rest of you watch. Hope you like Supernatural, cartoons and Jeopardy. I just should have filled it out randomly, instead of being honest. I doubt very much if my likes reflect mainstream America’s entertainment choices.
What did I watch? Not much. Supernatural and Grimm are my only must-see choices, followed by The Vampire Diaries and Once Upon a Time. That’s pretty much it for drama. I watch more cartoons than is probably healthy for somebody in my age group. In the morning I watch the Supernatural reruns on TNT if they’re good eps (i.e., if Cas is in them). The rest of my viewing schedule is taken up by reality shows like Restaurant Stakeout, Project Runway, Tabatha Takes Over and Bar Rescue. I tell myself I’m absorbing good business practices watching how experts turn a failing business around. The best business practice would be to turn off the set and go write something. Maybe Tabatha could drop by the house and give me a hand with that.
And Jeopardy. You can never stuff too much trivia into your head.
What did I learn? That with 80 channels to choose from, I tend to watch, on average, the same four or five. I should just drop cable, get home Internet, subscribe to Netflix and watch TV that way. I also noticed that once I was expected to chart my viewing, I didn’t watch as much as I normally would. Usually I’ll switch on the set and watch stuff at random because I’m trying to avoid writing, which is hard work and requires brainpower. Or I’ll get a season of something on DVD from the library and spend a week catching up on that. I didn’t do either of those this week. I didn’t want strangers to know how much writing time I spend in front of the set.
One thing held true, and I told this to the Nielsen people: I’m fed up with all the commercial breaks. I’ve seen shows run five minutes of commercials, go back to the show, then cut to commercial again after two minutes. I’ve tried sampling two or three shows at once, only to find they’ve all gone on commercial break at the same time. That’s the point where I turn off the set and go read a book. No commercials in a book. I figure Amazon/Kindle will change that eventually, but for now we’re good.
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The neighbors down the street who were feeding Stray Kitty have moved, and I got the food, the bowls, and the responsibility. I still can’t get close to him, let alone touch him, but I think he’s figured out that the food is at my place now. I put it out in the morning and by evening it’s gone. Whether he’s the one getting it is a whole other question, since I never see what’s dropping in for the free eats. It could be him. It could be Peanut, the orange tabby from across the street. Or it could be the gray cat I’ve seen once or twice. There’s a large gray tabby in the neighborhood, and last week I spotted a smaller gray-and-white cat on the street. Somebody reported another cat, black and white like Stray Kitty but larger, who comes from across the street. There used to be another orange tabby that we think somebody just dropped off, but my next-door neighbors adopted him. He’s a house cat now and never goes outside, so he’s off the roster.
This isn’t counting the raccoons, opossums and skunks. We have enough garbage, bird feeders and nearby water and wilderness area to support suburban wildlife. I can only vouch for the skunks, since one raised a family under my house last year. These are all nocturnal, though, so I doubt if they’re coming up onto my deck to hit the cat food.
Here’s what happened Tuesday. I was up early, so I put out a can of food around 6. By 7 it was gone. I put out some dry food. Two hours later that was gone. Then I was out doing yard work in the afternoon and Kitty turned up, so I put some food out for him. I know he got that because I watched him. So I either fed three cats, two cats, or the same cat three times. Unless the squirrels are dipping into the dry food. I don’t see too many squirrels any more since we started putting food out for cats. I never see rabbits at all.
I never see kittens, either. These cats may all be fixed. Most look pretty well-fed and disease-free and none are especially scruffy. Free food and no taxes. These cats have the life.
I suppose I should go write something so I can afford to buy cat food once the supply the neighbor gave me runs out. After all, I’m writing for two now. Or three, or six, or however many strays we’ve attracted. If I can just stay away from the TV everything ought to work out.