Tuesday, February 28, 2006

24HoTV: the aftermath

What else is on?

Watching TV for 24 hours in a row with the estimable B1-66er and my own son Biggy was great fun. I experienced moments of incredible absurdity, sleep-deprived paranoia, and the unexpected restorative power of Totino's Pizza Rolls at 6 in the morning. I learned things: Dubbel Zout means double salt, the Hour of Power is still going, and there is a candy dispenser called Pooping Santa. I had a great time, and I'm thrilled that we actually did it. I did not think I could get through the 24 hours with so little sleep (checking the logs, it looks like I conked for about 30 minutes).

But, ultimately, even though I had a blast, after the Punky Chips Ahoy and the Spanish Rugrats and multiple Joe Pantoliano movies, I'm unsatisfied. There is more TV out there that I haven't seen. And I guess that means we'll have to figure out a way to do it again.

Just not today.

Sunday, February 26, 2006


24:00 Channel 345 -- Ultimate Shopping Network

Designer Showcase.

K: It's the Ultimate Shopping Network. And Ulimate means "last". Get it? Even though it's a random pick, it's almost like we planned it. But we didn't. But it's almost like we did. Except shopping channels suck, so we probably wouldn't pick one. But so does most TV. Anyway.

More people are allegedly spending thousands of dollars on stuff they see on TV. This lady is nicer than the other mean lady. She's not beating her employees. She's content to be in a secret relationship with her co-worker. But that will end badly. Or perhaps baldly, depending on my spelling.

B: Getting USN as the final channel of 24HoTV is sincere proof that there is a higher power.

Final thoughts from Special K:

Google called. They ran out of Blogger capacity. 43 people in Estonia couldn't do web searches.

I'm tired in a way that's difficult to describe, because I'm too tired.

To everyone: thank you for being there. And thank you for being you.

Quote of the Moment

"I'm tired in a way that's difficult to describe, because I'm too tired."
-- Special K

23:45 Channel 356 -- MSNBC

MSNBC News Live

Really this is just God taking one last kick at me for my authorship on 24HoTV.

We're plunged directly into the Arab owned port deal. Hillary "Carpetbagger" Clinton is going off about the Arab owned ports. It is, of course, a vast right wing conspiracy.

This was followed by some member of the vast right wing conspiracy that was going off about the War on a Noun, I mean, the War on Terrorism.

Now it's Olympic coverage, or more precisely, how the U.S. has fared for medals. "The people that we over-hyped for medals didn't bring any home. Somehow some of the other lamers did. How did that happen?"

Now it's New Orleans. "Do you think New Orleans is ready for Mardi Gras this week? And more precisely, do you think it's okay that you celebrate and have fun when so many people have, you know, died there recently?"

Weather. "There's a killer amount of windchill around. But if you stay inside, I guess that's not a problem so it's a little disappointing from the threatening point of view."

"Microsoft + NBC = Crazy Delicious."
-- Special K

"You guys tried to make me hate 24HoTV with one last shot. You failed."
-- b1

This is b1-66er, over and out. Thanks for your readership on my TV items, I appreciate it.

23:30 Channel 521 -- Starz west

movie: "Out of Sight"

K: George Clooney, Michael Keaton, the dude who looks like but isn't Burt Reynolds, Jennifer Lopez, Ving Rhames. This is a movie I would probably watch in real life. This mini-viewing is vindicating that instinct.

B: Supercool Isley Brothers inspired soundtrack, and we don't get to hear a note of it.

23:15 Channel 821 -- XM Radio

The blend

Pop & Hits

Starts scarily with a segue from the GSN to a Billy Joel singing Uptown Girl and specifically, "you know I can't afford to buy her pearls." So true and so 24HoTV.

Donna Summer Hot Stuff. Get down and get down now.

Aaron Neville & Linda Ronstadt All My Life. I certainly hope not.

Belinda Carlisle I Get Weak. So do I when I think about you breaking up the Go-Go's to pursue a solo career. You didn't have a single solo song that was as good as say, Head Over Heels.

Five for Fighting 100 Years. It only seems that way because you sing in that crappy falsetto.

"I don't have enough brain cells left to comment on this."
-- Special K

"So long XM. I still don't consider you to be TV."
-- b1

23:00 Channel 228 -- Gem Shopping Network

"Treasures with Sue"

K: This woman has attitude. "Well, if she doesnt' want it, let someone else get it. We're moving." She answers questions with contempt. "Yes," she sighs in exasperation, "it's a Mexican Fire Opal, but it's got color. Most of 'em don't have color." She keeps turning off her mike and, I'm sure, yelling at people. Lighten up, Sue. Cripes.

B1 calls the station to ask if she's mean. They say no. They lie. She beats them for lying.

Expensive stuff! Thousands of dollars! Who would buy a $8K piece of jewelry from a mean woman on TV?

B1 starts yelling at the TV: "Get her wrinkly breast off there! Don't show me her breast! Oh wait -- that's her finger."

And we begin hour 24.

She Wants to Sell You Jewelry

Learn to Spell with the Gem Shopping Network

22:45 Channel 851 -- XM Radio


Contemporary jazz.

"It's all one song. It's one song that runs all day and all night. I hate to be a downer, but that's what I think. I say what I think."
-- Special K

"What fern bar music would sound like today if there were still fern bars."
-- b1

22:30 Channel 533 -- WAM! Education that Entertains

K: Kids doing some acting program or something after school. Really, I don't care. I'm sure you're nice kids. Now get the hell off my TV. Please. There's no need for you to be here.

Followed by something about jewelry. Even worse. Soviet jewelry. Low energy. Stop it. Damn.

Some d00d talking about appreciating art. He has red hair. He is arty, but not Artie. And he disses baseball. Now you've done it. Moron.

B: What did we just watch? (I told him.) Really?

22:15 Channel 321 -- World Harvest Television

Hour of Power

Here we go, again. We already saw this program, but this is the beginning, not the end. It opens with Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, but in English, which I hate.

We're gonna get sincere here for awhile.

Robert Schueller senior is talking now. I haven't seen him on TV in, maybe, 25 years. He's older, but he's also clearly had a minor stroke (or a minor palsy) -- his left eye doesn't open as wide as his right and his lips on that side don't curl the same.

Nice steppin' version of When the Saints Go Marching In crossed with The Hallelujah Chorus. This will end up being the high point of the service.

"The Hour of Power is not to be trifled with. Check out that building."
-- Special K

"I'm certain that when the saints finally do go marching in, it will be at the Crystal Cathedral."
-- b1

Quote of the Moment

"It's not TV, it's HBO."
-- HBO propaganda campaign

22:00 Channel 502 -- HBO2

movie: "Imaginary Heroes"

We got there in time for the credits. There were 7 minutes of the damn credits. Here are just a few:

Pete Mozes: Location Manager
John Frisbie: Rigger
Nixon Stephenson: Storyboard Artists
Keith Armstrong: Security
Mark Stetz: Set PA
Richard Borge: Catering
Kevin Becker: Boom Operator
Marc Christie: Best Boy Grip
Herb Kay: Craft Services
Color: Technicolor

I think you'll agree they all did a fine job. Can I get a round of applause? YEAH!

B: Can we turn Bluetorch back on and say it happened randomly?

21:45 Channel 653 -- FOX Sports West 2



And then an eHarmony.com ad? Are you kidding me? And a guy who looks like Don Knotts? The new/dead Don Knotts? What the hell is going on?


Pick up truck ad.

Now some lame thing.





FRENCH NIGHTCLUBS! Are you kiddin' me? Name a French hip hop song. EXACTLY. How beat is that?

USC Football. As if. I got drunk with that chick from USC once. Or was it UCLA. It was great, though dude. I don't really remember it, but my friends told me it was.

"I don't understand why it was called, 'Bluetorch.' Nothing was blue and there wasn't a torch."
-- Special K

"That sounds like something a stereotypical old guy would say."
-- Bigg Nasty K

"Bluetorch, you bitches!"
-- b1


For the first time during this event, I have heard sounds that weren't really there. This happens to me in cases of sleep deprivation.

21:30 Channel 545 -- The Movie Channel west

K: "Terminal Countdown": A CIA agent, a veteran, and others must stop a computer that believes the US is under nuclear attack. We get to see the very end of the movie. A man drowns in a giant pit of oatmeal. Another character speaks very strangely. Suddenly, for no reason, we cut to Las Vegas. And once again, we will see nothing blow up, nothing afire, nothing interesting. This proves Sturgeon's Law: there ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

For the first time during this event, we watch movie credits roll.

B: This is scary because that was way more oatmeal than a single person can eat.

21:15 Channel 33 -- MTV2

Sucker Free Countdown

Young Jeezy
-My Hood

Whole Bunch O' Folks (including some dead ones)
-Nasty Girl

Kanye West
-Touch the Sky

"Kanye West is crazier than Spanish 'Rugrats' on acid."
-- Special K

"Evil Knievel references with Pam Anderson and a black Silent Bob in the mix. I'm clearly hallucinating."
-- b1

21:00 Channel 48 -- Telemundo local channel

"Rugrats", in Spanish.

K: We loves the Rugrats. In Spanish, it fits with my current tenuous hold on reality. Muy bueno.

Hey, the kids are licking paper, and then the world gets all colorful and a strange bunny with wings appears. What's that about?

B: ¿Como se dice "Change channel" en Español?

Spanish Rugruts

They look just like the damn English ones.

20:45 Channel 263 -- Logo

The Aggressives

This is gay and lesbian television. It's hitting heavy right from the start. Just dropping into it like this, it's hard to tell, but the show appears to be women who have severe hormonal problems and are also lesbian. We're not 90 seconds in and we've had a very graphic description of a hysterectomy. Now we've got ads for melanoma.

"This is pretty heavy for early Sunday morning."
-- Special K

"This show hits hard. Not because of lesbians and hysterectomies, but because lesbians are always attracted to me."
-- b1

The State of Special K

He's now officially a zombie. I mean, like bad bad off. Pale and pasty looking. Making no sense.

Don't tell him I told you.


20:30 Channel 295 -- PBS Kids Sprout

K: Sprout is PBS for tiny tots. The show is Caillou, about a precocious bald French-Canadian kid and his overly solicitous parents.

Folks, don't try to be like Caillou and his family. You'll only end up disappointed and you'll have to increase your dose of Wellbutrin.

B: This is "pockritudinous".

Olympic Facts of the Moment That Everyone Seems to Forget

1. The Olympics are a for profit organization. For some reason people always act like it's this big patriotism thing. Supporting the Olympics is like supporting Exxon or any other major corporation.

2. People like "Eddie the Eagle" are no longer allowed to participate. The IOC passed a rule because of Eddie that you had to be ranked in the top half of your sport world-wide, if you weren't you couldn't compete at the Olympic level. Sponsors put pressure on the IOC that the people they were supporting were being ignored by the press in favor of the common-man types. They threatened to withdraw and the IOC changed the rules.

20:00 Channel 842 -- XM The Flow

K: "The Flow" - new soul. I'm old and therefore prefer the old soul. This stuff wanders too much. Is there a song in there somewhere?

B: This station makes me feel like I had too much cough syrup.

And we conclude our 20th broadcast hour.

20:15 Channel 11 -- NBC (KNTV-11)

XX Olympic Winter Games

Gold medal match of hockey. Finland vs. Sweden

Unbelievably, yet completely legitimately, we see the start of the gold medal match ... A game that Biggy has been babbling somewhat incoherently about for the last 12 hours.

"NHL'ers have ruined Olympic Hockey. Go back to amateurs."
-- Special K

"Go Finland!"
(I realize this is moot since the game may well already be over.)
-- Bigg Nasty K

"I only have one thing to say: where is Finnmärk here? Seriously."
-- b1

Proof This Is Happening At Special K's House

19:45 Channel 266 - Biography

Expedition Egypt

Mummies, tombs, curses and locks of hair

"King tut is creepy and I like it that way.
-- Special K

"It doesn't seem like Egypt without street vendors trying to sell me stuff."
-- b1

This phrase sounds much more pleasant if it's said in a well-heeled British accent: "He developed pnuemonia and died."

Quote of a little while ago

"I feel like I've been punched in the eyes."

-Special K

19:30 Channel 513 -- MoreMAX

movie: Titanic

I know I'm not the last person on earth who hasn't seen this movie, but I must be close. As a kid, I loved "A Night to Remember", about the Titanic sinking. This one seems more...character based. We won't be around long enough to see the sinking, unfortunately: there's still 2+ hours remaining.

Biggy: Did it sink yet? No? Wake me when it does.

B: I can't believe I woke up and had to look at Leonardo.

19:15 Channel 870 -- XM Alegria

This is XM's Spanish hip-hop channel. It's a strange juxtaposition at this point in the event. I think the current song is sampling House of Pain.

The pizza rolls have pretty much worn off.

It's almost fully light outside.

B1-66er is experimenting with unconsciousness. Biggy Nasty (my own son) has reawakened.

19:00 Channel 808 -- XM America

K: This channel is called America, but it's Country music. OK, whatever. Let 'Er Buck by Chris Wall, Big in Vegas by Buck Owens. Hillbilly Girl with the Blues by Lacy J. Dalton.

Modern country is definitely not my thing.

B: Music like this makes me wish Johnny Cash was still alive.

18:45 Channel 636 -- FOX Sports Net Detroit

Spartan Sports Zone

It is exactly like what the sign says.

"What a load of cliches."
-- Special K

"The Spartan's coach's hairstyle is remarkably close to Pastor Scheuller."
-- b1

18:30 Channel 830 -- XM The Boneyard

K: Another dose of '80s metal-n-hair. Poison, Van Halen. But screw it, I don't care: I just had Totino's Pizza Rolls, Pepperoni flavor. They have given me my nth wind. They will carry me through for at least another little while. And out the window just now: I see daylight.

B: 6:30 in the morning is too early for a dose of Poison.

18:15 Channel 262 -- Soap

One Life to Live Wednesday

That's right, it's that very same old soap opera.

Whoa. Unexpected plane crash with prisoners strapped to law enforcement. If you sit and watch 'em, you can see the whole week back-to-back.

"A week of soap episodes back-to-back? It's like a public service."
-- Special K

"I'm not just here for the baby, Tess. Sure, I wish it was mine."
-- Understanding soap opera guy with pregnant girlfriend

"A show this good, I only need one life to live."
-- b1

Quote of the Moment

"You're not doing this for the money? What the hell are you doing this for?"
-- Concerned soap opera girlfriend

18:00 Channel 261 -- Lifetime Real Women

"Paid Programming". It's the Hour of Power, with Pastor Robert Schuller in the Crystal Cathedral. A preacher preaches.

K: "Mike Ditka, the great coach of the Chicago Cubs..."

He has many plants on his bimah.

I think I would have to watch this guy for a lot longer thatn 15 minutes to figure out what he's saying. It's not clear.

B: Nice robes. Nice hair.

Quote of the Moment

"So much hooch, so little time."
-- Obviously evil female character in One Life to Live

Quote of the Moment

"Life is like a watch ... full of good words."
-- Pastor Schueller

Woman with Picture in Picture Head

17:45 Channel 860 -- XM Radio

The System
Electronica. Trance.

"No vocals in my trance, please."
-- Special K

"Gimme space. Watch me work it."
-- b1

17:30 Channel 345 -- Ultimate Shopping Network

K: It's the wheel of jewelry again. But instead of Slammin' Stevie, it's...somebody else. "It is HEC-TIC up here in the call center!" No sign of any "platimum" this time. I'm not a jewelry expert, but these are gaudy.

I'm starting to see weird lighting effects that aren't really there. When it comes to sleep deprivation, I'm pretty much a lightweight.

Bigg is now asleep.

B1: This guy's no Slammin Stevie.

17:15 Channel 833 -- XM Radio

Top Tracks

Essentially this is pop hits from the 70's -- but nothing hideous like Seasons in the Sun.

"I wish to say ... uh ... (smiles) ... these are good songs ... I like these songs."
-- Special K

"Anyone who plays the Manfred Mann cover of Blinded by the Light is okay in my book."
-- b1

Quote of the Moment

"She got down, but she never got tight, she's gonna make it to the night ... she's gonna make it through the night."
-- Blinded by the Light lyrics

17:00 Channel 22 -- KRCB PBS Rohnert Park, CA

The Best Of...

K: Repeats of PBS shows. A PBS guy is interviewing Paul Haggis, director of Crash. I don't want to hear much, because I want to see the movie without spoilage. But he's mostly talkng about meta-things.

Next, he interviews Terence Howard, an actor who's in Hustle and Flow. I wish I saw more movies. I've seen zero of the best picture nominees this year.

B: Nice tie. (It's green - ed.)

Pierre Omidyar, Liar

The founder of eBay, Pierre Omidyar, used to work for me -- including when he started eBay (back when it was still known as AuctionWeb).

There's a lot of both the eBay and Omidyar legacies that are actually either blatant lies, or grossly exaggerated. Once it was clear that eBay was going to make it he said to me, "EBay isn't the kind of company that would ever run TV commercials."

Guess what I just saw?

-- b1

Special K Back from the Dead ...

... and solidly back in the game.

16:45 Channel 212 -- NFL Network

NFL Total Access

A record. Six-and-half minutes of commericials before we actually got into any programming.

And now it's three talking heads around a table -- talking about the 26 hour NFL combine. 12 minutes in, we actually get to see football highlights.

"February 26 -- Happy beginning of the football season, everyone!"
-- Bigg Nasty K

"I almost fell asleep."
-- Special K

"Easily the most boring programming we've seen so far."
-- b1

16:30 Channel 531 -- Encore/True Stories

Movie: Husbands

Ben Gazzara film from 1970 and Peter Falk in a non-Colombo role. Poor special effects.

"Forecast for London: Raining with a chance of string."
-- Bigg Nasty K

"Heavy drama with several 'meaningful' closee-ups. Odd sound-work, including many cues that are just missing entirely (like answering phones that are not ringing). It makes a grand total of zero sense when you drop into the middle of it for 15 minutes."
-- b1

Special K Has Lost Consciousness ...

... Bigg Nasty K is stepping in.

Raw Materials

16:15 Channel 644 -- Altitude

Mountain States Fishing

With, and I swear i'm not making this up, Bryan Beefice. Fly fishing galore. The majority of the broadcast is being hosted by an eight year-old boy.

Lots of commercials. All of them manly. ATV's, boats, and hockey memorabilia.

"Fishing, the kid knows. Fishing for TV, the kid knows not."
-- Big Nasty K

"This kid is an amazing fisherman. He's actually more personable than the adults."
-- b1

16:00 Channel 297 -- Boomerang

"Wacky Races", then "Wonder Wheels"

K: Hanna-Barbera Animation: pretty bad. Great voices by Daws Butler, Don Messick, et al (but no Paul Frees [my favorite]).

Every episode was a race. That got old kinda quick.

Oh, this "limited animation" is horrible.

I hear June Foray in this one.

B: I didn't like it as a kid; I like it less as an adult.

15:45 Channel 261 -- Lifetime Real Women

Intimate Portrait
Bella Abzug

Biography program, featuring a ton of 70's stars including Marlo Thomas and Gloria Stienhem.

"Bella, what's with the hats?"
-- Special K

"I'm supposed to be bowled-over by her politics, but all I find myself doing is looking at how weird her hats are."
-- b1

The Last Go-Go Frenzy?

My favorite energy drink is Go-Go -- it was made by the same company that makes Vitaminwater.

About two years ago it was discontinued and the last cans were sold in a blow-out (three for a dollar) at Grocery Outlet. I bought about 15 cases.

Frenzy is their super-charged "flavor," and this is my last can. It's possible this may be the last can of Frenzy in the world.

From the can side (they don't use CAPS)

wanna go-go?
this stuff is like the spiritual leader of colas. it's full of
vitamins, minerals and herbs that old guru guys (and girls) have been
using for centuries to increase energy, performance and drive (yes, THAT
kind of drive). if you're nort ready for a major shock of energy, then
you're not ready to get frenzied. do you think you can handle it? live
vicariously at go-go.com

I'm drinking it.

(Note: This is the famous "panty label" can. The manufacturer changed the design after objections from the public.)

15:30 Channel 244 -- SciFi Channel

Infomercial: Oreck Air Purifier

K: Did nobody tell this guy that "Oreck" looks like "Dreck" to every Jew?

The air purifiers look like VCRs that were designed in 1978. Paging Jonathan Ivie.

Do they have act-like-a-moron school for these infomercial presenters?

B: Infomercial on SciFi? I was hoping space aliens would try to sell me a spaceship.

15:15 Channel 286 -- Discovery Home Channel

License to Grill

Cooking show. What's interesting is I recently ran across this article comparing food shows to pornography. The comparison, at least on this show, is right on.

"This guy obviously never heard of 'take out.'"
-- Special K

"To me, nothing says serious barbecue like dry rub."
-- b1

15:00 Channel 277 -- Travel Channel

Infomercial: The Sleep Number bed by Select Comfort.

K: Gosh, the host is Lindsey Wagner, the bionic woman herself. I do not enjoy this, because I liked the Bionic Woman and I hate to see her suffer, and because it's not a cheesy enough infomercial to really enjoy.

Spinal alignment: important! Don't eschew this! Dammit!

One of the Bionic Woman's superpowers: concern for the world's sleep.

B: If Lindsey Wagner is the spokesperson for Select Comfort, has the bionic dog peed on the bed?

Trivia: where were the Bionic Man and Bionic Woman from?
A: Ojai, California.

Quote of the Moment

"You could have your money sitting in a vault, but why, when you could be wearing stunning jewelry instead?"
-- Saleswoman on America's Store

14:45 Channel 243 -- America's Store

Asian Treasures

Jewelry Store. The kind of place where the seller has the same color sweater as her eye liner.

"This woman says tha-ree and baa-lew as two syllables."
-- Special K

"I see this woman, and I see that jewelry, and I want to commit a unspeakable act."
-- b1

14:30 Channel 526 -- Encore

Movie: "...And justice for all" (1979)

K: Al Pacino looks 12. You shouldn't start a movie title with an ellipsis, nor any punctuation mark. Bigg says Tom Waits is in this. I think I saw this in a theater once, but all memory of it has fled.

Hold on. It's Tom Waites.

Wow, there's Dominic Chianese, aka Uncle Junior Soprano. He's old already.

B: The second time I saw this movie, it was called "Dog Day Afternoon".

Quote of the Moment

"My brain is coming apart."
-- Special K

14:15 Channel 803 -- XM Radio

The 60's

"I was ... I was ... I was ... I had soul in the 60's."
-- Special K

"I hear Donovan's Atlantis and all I can think is I want to bury him under the ocean. With a vibrator."
-- b1

"This is 60's music, that was based on 40's music 'from 1933 to 1937.'"
-- Bigg Nasty K

Quote of the Moment

"Only two hours to go ... and then two hours after that ... and four hours after that ... and then some more, and we're done!"
-- Special K

14:00 Channel 206 -- ESPN

"World's Strongest Man Competition"

K: A return visit to the sports leader. Huge men do wacky things. Sample event: refrigerator carry. The color announcer's voice is on steroids. He sounds like Ben Stiller in "Dodgeball".

This is taking place in China. Why? B1-66er: "Probably because it cost 'em 5 bucks".

B: I feel like a girly man.

Quote of the Moment

"Marius almost got crushed by over 900 pounds of appliances."
-- Announcer on World's Strongest Man

13:45 Channel 853 -- XM Radio

Frank's Place
"American Standards"

Started with Rosemary Clooney, oh so famous in her later days as a star on the original Hollywood Squares.

"Lovely. I want TV."
-- Special K

"Crooners are hard to take when you're fighting off sleep."
-- b1

13:30 Channel 801 -- XM '40s

K: Yes, we're back on the '40s. The display is still stuck, claiming that it's "Let's Fall in Love" from 1933-37. But that's not right. We have the guy who wrote the UltimateTV music display code in the chat room with us, be he's unable to debug at this time. I'm sure it's a DirecTV problem, but given B1-66er's experience earlier in the evening, I don't think I'll call and report it.

I'm still liking the music.

B: I didn't know that Night Train was not a James Brown song.

Math View of the Moment

The odds of having back-to-back repeater stations, when choosing randomly, from 308 objects (we have 308 stations to choose from) is

1 - (307/308)^95 = 27%

The odds of us having the back-to-back repeaters like we had at midnight was a little better than 1-in-4, but worse than 1-in-3. We just got lucky is all.

13:15 Channel 640 -- Comcast Sports Channel Chicago

Unnamed Infomercial

We knew these versions of TV Hell were lying out here, we just hadn't run across any yet. This particular one is Russ Dalbey (looking frightenly like Clint Howard), Johnny real estate.

"He's no Tom Vu."
-- Special K

B1 is going to forego his comment and instead let Derek, a fine standing member of infomercialscams.com, say his piece:

i bought the network and spent $1800 on it and the program did not work. i read all of the books and did the school thing for $300 more. it got me no where. all i wanted is to buy my wife a wedding ring because i only make $9.00 an hour so i took a chance with money i have been saving for 1 year to buy a ring. i spent it on this p.o.s. network crap to get her a better ring and got bent over on this shit. i hope nobody buys this program because it is a scam from hell so now i cant afford the ring i wanted to give to her. thanks alot russ you p.o.s. asshole.....

13:00 Channel 801 -- XM '40s

K: It says it's the '40s channel, but it also says the CD is called 1933-37? I smell a rat.

I like it. It's a window to the past, and not unpleasant. Reminds me of my dad, who loved Glen Miller and other Big Bands. Lovely harmonies and smooth voices. It's clear how the '50s came out of this.

B: 1933-37 is not the '40s.

12:45 Channel 520 -- Starz

Movie: Kingpin

Bill Murray with leisure suit and afro and Woody Harrelsom playing yet another dopey stoner. As bad as it sounds.

"Often funny. Always disturbing."
-- Special K

Five minutes in, "We've only been watching this five minutes?"
-- b1

"We just received a PhD in stupidity."
-- Bill Murray

12:30 Channel 764 -- NHL

K: A replay of game 6 of the 2003-4 NHL finals, Tampa Bay at Calgary. Kind of a sore subject for Sharks fans (like me), because Calgary beat the Sharks in the conference finals. This was the next-to-last game before the stupid season when the league lost an entire year to a labor dispute.

The stands are filled with red-clad fans.

Right before we chose this channel, a friend who's a big hockey fan entered the chat room. Eerie, no?

By the way, you can join us there too: AIM chat room TV24HR.

B: I see red.

12:15 Channel 292 -- Toon Disney

Kong: The Animated Series

Windigo Kong battles a legendary monster who has the ability to absorb it opponents' powers.

"Sad. Pathetic. It could be good."
-- Special K

"How can you have a seaplane without those things you land on the sea with?"
-- Bigg Nasty K

"Giant ape is totally ignored by people who run a sophisticated technical lab in a cave. The ape is easily the worst actor of the set. Yet another reason to hate Disney. As if I need one."
-- b1

12:00 Channel 830 -- XM Boneyard

K: This channel got a bit better in its second tour. We heard some vintage Robert Plant, AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long" (the first song I ever heard in a strip club), and other goodies. So, not so bad.

B: It was like I dreamt in heavy metal music.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

11:45 Channel 830 -- XM Radio


Through a freak of random fate, we have a back-to-back placement of this station. I'm going to take this chance to sneak in a nap.

"My lack of appreciation for this type of music remains unabated."
-- Special K

Hopefully, "Zzzzzz."
-- b1

11:30 Channel 817 -- XM Kiss

K: Dunno why it's called "Kiss". I haven't heard anything by Kiss yet. It's "adult contemporary" music. Hoobastank, Missy Elliott, Lifehouse (yes, a strange mix). Fairly good, but a little somnolent for this occasion. Wow, I spelled 'somnolent' right.

B: All rap music should sample Kraftwerk.

11:15 Channel 654 -- FOX Sports Net Bay Area

Poker Superstars II

That's right, it's the quarter finals of the tournament that ... we've already seen the semifinals of.

Sklansky, Deeb, Mortensen and Chan

"I don't get watching poker on TV ... Maybe it's because I'm a bad poker player."
-- Special K

"Poker is a little anit-climatic when you already know the winner."
-- b1

11:00 Channel 608 -- Outdoor Life Network

"Pro Bull Riding" and "Fearless"

Bull riding, with helmets. Then, following a rare intra-period program change, it's a profile of a bull rider. When I was 9, my mom took me to the rodeo instead of letting me watch Super Bowl III. That was the one where Joe Namath guaranteed a win, and he won, one of the biggest upsets in sports history. And I was at the frickin' rodeo.

So of course, I hate this.

B: I remember when bull riders didn't look like baseball catchers.

Conversation with DirecTV

I decided to call DirecTV to find out who the voice over was for KidsMix. After driving through a phone tree for about 10 presses, I ended up in Tech Support because that seemed to be the only place I could get hold of a human being.

DirecTV: This is [some guy] how can I help you?

b1-66er: I'm watching channel 111 and I want to know what the audio channel is that you're using to come over the top of video.

D: You're not hearing audio?

b1: No, that's not it. I want to know what the audio is on channel 111.

D: What's your problem?

b1: I don't have a problem, per se. I just want to know what the audio is that's coming over the to of channel 111.

D: One moment.

b1: Sure. I'm in no hurry.

(Pause of about two minutes.)

D: Sorry for the delay. Have you tried re-setting your set-up?

b1: I don't actually have a problem. I just want to know what the audio is on KidsMix. Channel 111.

D: You want to know the audio?

b1: Yeah, I think it's an XM source that you pipe over the top of the station.

D: You're hearing XM while you're watching a video channel?

b1: Yes. What station are you piping over the top?

D: How long have you had this problem?

b1: I wouldn't call it a "problem," you do it on purpose.

D: You're doing this?

b1: No, you are doing this. What station is it?

D: Have you tried re-setting your equipment.

b1: (hangs up)

Special K: Hey, OKD figured out the XM station about 10 minutes ago ... he told us in the chat room.

10:45 Channel 111 -- DirecTV


Overview channel for kids' programming. Six channels are being show simultaneously: Animal Planet, Disney, Toon Disney, Cartoon Network, Noggin and Nick. The voice-over is some XM channel that's not related.

"It's not enough that there's six channels going. They have to animate the whole backing board to blow little minds."
-- Special k

"I spent the entire time talking to some guy deep in the bowels of DirecTV. I watched flickering patterns -- I can't even tell you what I just saw."
-- b1

Trivium of the Moment

According to the latest research, the average american spends 24.7 hours each week watching television.

Source, MediaWise with Dr. Dave

10:30 Channel 843 -- XM Suite 62

K: This is an "adult urban" channel. Sorta smooth soul. Not unpleasant, but not what I would usually choose to listen to. Beats Opie & Anthony all to hell, however. With a stick.

B: Slow soul was better in the early '70s.

10:15 Channel 879 -- XM Radio

High Voltage
by Opie & Anthony

Sports talk and other stuff rated R. Two knot-heads that sound like eruditic versions of Beavis and Butthead.

"People pay money to listen to this on the radio ... Stern has nothing to worry about."
-- Special K

"I don't listen to morning radio. I like it even less when it's recorded and I have to listen to it in the evening."
-- b1

"This may be Sirius radio's best advertisement."
-- Bigg Nasty K

Trivium: This is the true edge of the DirecTV universe. The biggest number on the dial.

10:00 Channel 647 -- Fox Sports Net Midwest

"Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament"

People playing poker for a lot of money. Bigg loves this, and B1-66er (a poker maven) is riveted. He's talking back to the announcers, pointing out their numerous mistakes. That makes it interesting.

B: I love poker, but fairybook Earthlink characters (in commercials) distract me.

09:45 Channel 834 -- XM Radio


"Music. 90's and Today's Alternatives."

"Uh. Nice pick-me-up at this late hour."
-- Special K

"Why is it that Lucy, the younger one, gets music from the 70's; and Ethel, the old one, has music from the 90's."
-- Bigg Nasty K

"Take soul. Pour acid on it. The end."
-- b1

24HoTV Zeitgeist of the Moment

We're starting to show the wear.

It feels like I've only been sitting here doing this for a couple of hours, even though I'm more than nine-and-a-half in.

But we're all getting punchy. I'm starting to make some fairly obvious posting mistakes and I'm becoming sonically sensitive. I get a little "House of Usher-ish" when I've been over-driven and that's happening already. We're right on my sweet spot of my new bedtime and I'm feeling it.

Special K is starting to droop. Solid G is long gone. Bigg Nasty is wearing his John Belushi "COLLEGE" t-shirt and is in stride, but we've endured some stuff that he hasn't.

And I'm listening to the Offspring and I'm not sure I should have to.


09:30 Channel 229 -- Home & Garden TV

"Design, Inc. : Creative Attic Bedroom"

K: This is a show about remodeling a room in a house. This is not a geek hobby, so it's not interesting to me. If it's analog, I'm not handy with it.

This remodel is done by women. Good for them. Hammering, drilling. Hey, I'll pick up dinner.

Eventually they have to call for tech support because they're having trouble drilling through a wall or something. I say, let a professional do the job.

This is the kind of show that's going to put me to sleep.

B: Is it time yet? Haven't been watching.
Bigg: Oh, it's on? I thought it was a commercial.
B: So did I.

Quote of the Moment

"It's only torture if you don't know when the unpleasantness is going to end."
-- b1-67er (younger brother to b1-66er)

I didn't need to see Isaac Hayes selling Lay's potato chips

I mean, I really didn't.
-- b1

09:15 Channel 368 -- Fit TV

Total Body Sculpt with Gilad

This is the show that will definitely pump you up. Aerobics with a guy who has just a perfectly stylish amount of armpit hair. The commercials are for, that's right, Gilad fitness videos and eating ideologies.

"I ridicule because I am jealous."
-- Special K

"Get slightly into the buttocks."
-- Gilad

"I feel like I've been trained for the decathalon."
-- b1

"You're looking gud."
-- Gilad

"Slapping yourself is not, 'shaking.'"
-- Bigg Nasty K

Haiku of the Moment

McGavin is dead
We can now never be safe
From the night stalker

09:00 Channel 311 -- ABC Family

"Risky Business"

K: Risky Business on ABC Family? What were they thinking?

My God, Tom Cruise is so young. He must not be crazy at all!

Rebecca DeMornay. Yow!

I would regret having to turn this off, but it's over anyway.

B: I still have Tangerine Dreams.

08:45 Channel 239 -- Celebrity Shopping Network

"Barry Chappell's Fine Art Showcase"


This time they're showing Jonathan Winters paintings. Truly amateurish work that would make Miro wretch.

"I like it better when he's yelling."
-- Special K

"He's a creepy guy. He's keeps touching the paintings ... 'You should buy these because they feel nice.'"
-- Bigg Nasty K

"Is this a joke from Ork?"
-- b1

(Note: One of the ways you can tell true random numbers from ones that people just "make up" are by having repeats.)

When Comedians Paint

Paintings by Jonathan Winters.

Quote of the Moment

"Folks, I don't know anyone who I'd rather have a painting by more than Jonathan Winters."
-- Barry Chappall

08:30 Channel 206 -- ESPN


K: It's Bode Miller, who's not disappointed in his performance in the Olympics. "That was all I expected. It was pretty normal."

It's Apolo Anton Ohno, who (no spoilers here) raced in short track speed skating. I have to worry about spoilers because NBC doesnt' show this to us live.

B: Great golf shots.

Other Song Lyric of the Day

"Got 13 channels of shit on the TV to choose from."

-- Pink Floyd, Nobody Home

08:15 Channel 502 -- HBO2

Real Time with Bill Maher

It's Bill Maher sorta trying to be the Daily Show.

"He's kinda funny and kinda insufferable."
-- Special K

"Nobody is more impressed with Bill Maher than Bill Maher. Including his mom."
-- b1

Song lyric of the day

"Turn on the TV, let it drip right down in your eyes."

- Queen, Sheer Heart Attack

Conversation of the Moment

b1-66er: "Listen to that rap song ... They're blanking on the word 'nigger' ... Listen, 'bigger,' 'trigger," then nothing."

solid goldstein: "Maybe the word is 'Tigger.'"

08:00 Channel 102 -- DirecTV News MIx

K: Video from six channels of news, picture-in-picture style, plus some DirecTV guy talking about something, with occasional commercials. And there's a crawl at the bottom too. This is for people with really short attention spans.

The DirecTV guy: bad news, delivered horribly.

B: I'll take news for $100 please, Alex.

Bigg Nasty: I'll take Weather Channel to block.

07:45 Channel 847 -- XM

"The City"

Hiphop and urban radio

"It's a'ight!"
-- Special K

"I feel like I keep driving over the same set of speed bumps."
-- b1

07:30 Channel 355 -- CNBC

The Tim Russert Show

K: Apparently "Meet the Press" isn't enough for this guy, he needs this show too. Maybe dinner will get here in the next 2 minutes. Three reporters talking about Bush's spying program. Why don't they quit bloviating and speak truth to power instead?

B: I didn't watch it. (That's a comment in itself.)

07:15 Channel 375 -- Link

A world culture channel.

Documentary: The Witness

"Along the way you'll some images of animals suffering."

This is a pro-animail rights kind of guy. He drives through American cities and shows images of animals getting tourtured.

"Love animals or hate 'em, this sucks."
-- Special K

"Slow slow slow. I want to skin myself."
-- b1

Quote of the Moment

"A kitten could run wild in there and possibly soil the rug you would eat off of."
-- Eddie Lama, The Witness

07:00 Channel 334 -- CD USA


K: A free music show designed to sell CDs. There's a little piece on Michael Stipe -- new charity EP exclusively on iTunes. His baldness shines on.

Bow Wow now. Formerly Li'l Bow Wow. Sounds OK.

Scary Jessica Simpson commercial. Something about bad skin. She says: "If you're like me, ...". B says: "I am like you!"

Decent "My Humps" video at the end, with bleeps: "drunk" "ass". Drunk?

B: Jon Nguyen is the Asian Keanu Reeves. Bow Wow makes me want to woof.

06:45 Channel 239 -- Celebrity Shopping

"Barry Chappell's Fine Art Showcase"

They're showing some crappy piece of art called "Equus" by Guillaume Azoulay. I called the station. It's $875.

"Does anyone actually buy anything? It's so boring."
-- Special K

"A show so bad that no one could watch it. Special K fooled around with the iMac, special guest Solid Goldstein asked me about chess and Bigg Nasty K went to 7-11."
-- b1

06:30 Channel 656 -- Comcast Sports Northwest

"MISL Soccer: Philadelphia Kixx at California Cougars"

K: Indoor soccer (in Stockton, I think). Nobody at this one either, like the Mexican League match earlier. Soccer is way better in Spanish.

Solid Goldstein arrives. "This may be a level we could play at."

B: I prefer Mexico and outdoors.

06:15 Channel 545 -- Movie Channel West

Movie: Futureworld

The failed sequel to Westworld, we just missed the end.

High points:
Peter Fonda with groovy 70's glasses.
Evil Shelly Long
Faceless robots
Shooting and exploding things
Evil Peter Fonda twin played by evil Peter Fonda
Electrified stairs.
Hand-over-hand cable moves.
Fire pole sliding.
Power cable swinging.
Obligatory multi-nationals scene

"The scariest part is Peter Fonda's glasses."
-- Special K

"Peter Fonda looks a little bit like Kreskin."
-- b1

06:00 Channel 230 -- DIY, Do It Yourself

"Workin' on the Railroad"

K: This is about building model trains. Excellent. I'm all in favor of geeky hobbies, so this is awesome. Model trains are one of the few geeky hobbies I haven't tried. I do/have done: comic books, stamps, coins, crosswords, jigsaw puzzles. Just last week I bought a paint-by-numbers.

B: My brother was into model trains. It reminds me of when I was a kid and I was forced to go to the hobby shop because he wanted to look at things.

Model Train Building Guy

05:45 Channel 867 -- XM Radio

Radio Disney

"It's really, um, good."
-- Lil' Godzil' (9 years old)

"Um, it's interesting."
-- Small Person K (11 years old -- Special K's daughter)

"At least the Disney channel is fun."
-- Bigg Nasty K

"I think all the girl singers on the Disney channel are the same. They sound the same. They look the same."
-- Special K

"Disney are an evil corporation. They are partially responsible for destroying the Everglades. Like AOL and Microsoft, they're trying to run a vertical monopoly on anything that has to do with news, but they're worse in that they're trying to take over entertainment as well. I hate them. I hate this station. If Mickey Mouse lived in my neighborhood, I'd trap him."
-- b1

05:30 Channel 244 -- SciFi Channel

"Dante's Peak"

K: Poor cousin to "Volcano". Pierce Brosnan, Linda Hamilton. Nice geyser of fire! (B: "Looks suspiciously like the fountain in front of the Mirage.") Nice lava-crashing-through-house, but bad CG. Boat motor sputters off, so Grandma jumps in and pulls it, sacrificing herself. B: "You can actually see the chunks of dry ice in the bottom of the boat."

I'm feeling the tension.

Awesome, awesome commercial: cartoon punks singing "Punky Chips Ahoy, oi, oi!"

B: Nice clouds. Bad lightning. I know what this movie should be called: James Bond vs. the Volcano.

05:15 Channel 500 -- DirecTV

Pay-per-view Previews

Things previewed:
Generic car films -- It's car month
Unbreakable (Fighting Championships)
Rodeo Houston
Generic love movies -- It's love movie month
Boxing-- Sugar Shane Bosley
Excorcision of Emily Rose
Destination X (Wrestling)
Ultimate Fighting Championships (Liddell vs. Couture 3)
Wedding Crashers
An ad for the "OK" button on a remote control for DirecTV
Four Brothers
USA vs. Canada Ultimate Fighting Championships
Gantz (Japanese anime)
Transporter 2
Jeff Lacy vs Jeff Calzaghe (Boxing)
Locks & Limits Ads (Protect your kids)
Samurai X (Japanese anime)

(and loops -- the entire listing is 10 minutes, I think)

"This is awesome. (pauses) Fits my short attention span."
-- Special K

"I feel like my eyes have eaten too much fudge."
-- b1

Under a sick form of synchronicity, the 5:00 show is on channel 500.

05:00 Channel 296 -- Cartoon Network

"Teen Titans"

K: Teen Titans? Not the Teen Titans I used to (not) read in comic books! I don't recognize any of these kids. I think that's Speedy, Green Arrow's sidekick. Is that Aqualad? Who's the chick in bumblebee colors and Mickey Mouse ears? Two little guys named Mas and Menos. Manga-tinged. Campy. Villain is apparently an overgrown Star Wars fan.

Commercial #6.

B: The ads are better than the cartoon. The theme song (by Puffy Amiyumi) is the best part.

Mas y Menos

04:45 Channel 360 -- FOX News

FOX News

Stories of the moment:
Ricin found at the University of Texas!
Two men under arrest in England for a bankrobbery!
A daring robbery at an art museum in Brazil!
Particle accelerators might cure Alzheimer's!
Meth ice -- a more dangerous form of the drug!
ITunes has sold one billion songs!
Animal rights students stand up for their rights!
Can a dog be friend with a lion?!
Holy Dragnet! (Their actual phrase)
Miners trapped underground!
15 dead in Bangladesh in building collapse!

"Non-stop fear mongering. And YELLING. STOP YELLING!"
-- Special K

"As absolutely shrill as you would expect. That Americans tolerate this kind of stuff amazes me."
-- b1

04:30 Channel 214 -- "Order Sports Subscriptions & ON DirecTV"

K: A shill channel selling pay-per-view of March Madness basketball and subscriptions to the DirecTV guide magazine. Also music from one of the XM channels: Pinball Wizard, REO Speedwagon, U2. Only 4 screens or so in the ad. The Speedwagon especially was a guilty pleasure.

I'm a little tired. Carbs are washing over me.

B: Kicks the hell out of that smooth jazz station -- and it's all ads.

04:15 Channel 295 -- Sprout

"Make Way for Noddy"

Kids' programming. Includes such highly intellectual concepts as "Which face looks like a happy one?"

"Disturbing sub-text. Should be investigated."
-- Special K

"I love it. Seriously just love it. A great 15 minutes of my life that I'll never get back and I don't need it. Dig it two times."
-- b1

Noddy is a fully computer animated cartoon. It includes, in the words of Special K, "Jews" and "anti-semitism."

Special K: "Bernstein! How could Berstein be the producer? He's a self-loathing Jew."

Bigg Nasty K: "This is a Canadian show."
Special K: "Umm hmm. I'm not surprised."

Included an old Western Airlines tag, "It's the only way to fly." Weird.

Quote of the Moment

"The goblins have stolen my airplane!"

-- Noddy

04:00 Channel 32 -- KMTP-TV in San Francisco

"Classic Arts Showcase"

K: Dude singing opera, in German, with subtitles. It's from the opera Das Land Des Lachelns. "We will carry no advertising." Ooh, now a scene from a 1924 movie by Murnau. Awesome. B is loving it.

B: Everybody should listen to bluegrass and opera back-to-back.

Still from Murnau's "The Last Laugh"

Man, I'd love to watch this ...

03:45 Channel 812 -- XM

"Bluegrass Junction"

"I like bluegrass music."
-- Special K

"A nice pallette cleanser from the crap we've just had to endure. I'm, however, grateful for a 15 minute change."
-- b1

Don Knotts is dead

Don Knotts died last night of lung cancer at the age of 81. As we watch TV for 24 hours, we remember Don especially for "The Andy Griffith Show" but also for "The Incredible Mr. Limpet" and "The Reluctant Astronaut".

One of his last visitors at the hospital was Andy Griffith.

03:30 Channel 265 -- A&E

"American Justice: Traces in Blood"

K: Reality crime drama about a man who might have killed his wife. Her name apparently was Girly Chew. Also he claims to be an alien or something. Forensic science. Yellow police tape. True-life CSI. It should be scary and outrageous, but it's just boring.

Includes a detective named Michael Fox.

Also: our 5th commercial of the day.

B: I was writing about Go-Go. I didn't watch the TV. (Note: there is no rule that says you actually have to watch. This isn't "A Clockwork Orange".)

Quote of the Moment

"Cancer has always been a hobby of mine."

-- Some woman on American Justice

The True Power Behind 24HoTV

03:15 Channel 832 -- XM Cafe

Fairly bad modern jazz station.

"I might listen to this channel if I had no iPod, and less precise hearing."
-- Special K

"We heard a cover of Rider's on the Storm (sic). There's a killer on the road. His brain is squirming like a toad. Now I know why."
-- b1

Haiku of the Moment

So long Barney Fife
We'll give you back your bullet
And a thyroid pill

03:00 Channel 852 -- XM "Beyond Jazz" Channel

K: Another music channel: advanced jazz. Whatever. Barbara Dennerlein now playing a long song. I need more food. Now Yellowjackets. Oy, could these songs go on any longer? This is the longest 15 minutes yet.

B: Worse than the shopping channel. Worse than Christian TV. It was on for 3 minutes before I even realized we weren't watching TV.

02:45 Channel 369 -- Daystar

Daystar, "The fastest growing Christian Network in America"

The entire time was essentially an infomercial with a guy asking for money for Nairobi. Lots of squalor shots. Lots of midget Nairobi girl/woman shots.

"Please donate. www.feed.tv/child."
-- Special K

"I sense Special K's menorahs melting."
-- b1

24HoTV Minor Set Back

We use a timer on b1's hiptop to count off the time. It went into sleep mode as it alarmed and needed to be bitch-slapped back into data land by a reset.

Things like this don't those throw us off, they merely make us stronger.

02:30 Channel 838 -- XM "Lucy" Channel

K: This channel says it's "25 years of alternative music". Black Coffee in Bed/Squeeze, Wild Wild Life/Talking Heads, Gone Away/The Offspring. Just Because/Jane's Addiction. Seems like a decent playlist.

It's cool that the screen identifies the song, artist, and CD. But why does it say "You are listening to Rock music"?

B: I met Squeeze in a San Francisco hotel once. They liked me.

Dress and Behavior for 24HoTV

I dress for this in exactly the same way I dress for a long international flight.

I'm wearing a long sleeve Danger t-shirt, boxer briefs, hand woven Space Invader socks, and a Nike track suit. I also worn a pair of Nike Presto shoes, but I took those off about an hour ago.

I'm drinking a lot of water and taking a baby aspirin every four hours. Thrombosis from 24HoTV would be a bad thing. It's true that I do want my death to show up on the front page of the National Enquirer, but I don't want it to read: Man-Boy Throws a Clot in TV Orgy

02:15 Channel 366 -- Current

"Google Current_"

"This is why I'm doing this. Five minute segments about random crap."
-- Special K

"The most compelling stuff we've seen so far, including a Santa that poops candy. And it is, ultimately, forgettable."
-- b1

- Interaction with Special K's son -

Special K: "Why aren't you watching the Olympic hockey game?"

Bigg Nasty K: "This is much more interesting."

b1 and Special K: "Yeah!"

{Note: Special K works for Google. Hitting this channel was totally random. We in no way promote Google. They just make a great blogging product, the world's best search engine and pay Special K's mortgage.}

Noki, Fashion Designer

Quote of the Moment

"I think achievement is way overrated."

-- Chris Wink, Founder of Blue Man Group

02:00 Channel 802 -- XM '50s Channel

DirecTV includes XM music channels, and we've just hit our first one of those. It's a nice break.

K: It's the Hollywood Diner show with Daddy Dave Wood. '50s music is just a little too old for me: my sweet spot starts in about '64. Patsy Cline, followed by Buddy Holly, then The Fireballs. The show's site is here. B sent 'em email letting them know they've been sideswiped by 24HoTV.

B: I love Daddy Dave because he saves my eyes.

01:45 Channel 404 -- Galavision

"Torneo de Clausura: Tolucla vs. Morelia"

"Everyone talks about how there's no soccer fans in America. Look! There's no soccer fans there."

-- Bigg Nasty K (son of Special K)

"If I hit the SAP button, will it be in English?'

-- Special K

"And to think they said I'd never use my five years of Spanish. Vamos a ver."

-- b1

{There was a goal just before we changed channels. It was awesome. GOOOOOOOOOAAAALL. With crazy slot-machine like sounds.}

01:30 Channel 247 -- TBS

"Money Train" (1995)

K: Hello TBS, the original "Superstation" that helped start the cable TV revolution.

Nice cast: Wesley Snipes, Woody Harrelson, Jennifer Lopez, Robert Blake. None of their lives has changed since this movie was made. Speaking of which, the opening shot includes the World Trade Center.

TBS loops in nice dialog. Examples: "You fouled up!" "Yeah, they shot him to heck!" "Don't mess with my train!"

B: Robert Blake plays a killer. Woody Harrelson plays a stoner. It's too much like real life.

Why we change channels

The three reasons why we change channels every 15 minutes:

1. To show our contempt for the programming.
2. To interrupt them before they can interrupt us.
3. Because we are a shark, and we must keep moving.

01:15 Channel 211 - ESPN2 (alternate)

Basketball just finished Sothern Illinois vs. Northern Iowa.

Now Ohio vs. Akron

"Apparently it's 'Judgement Week' for college basketball. I love the name 'Akron Zips.'"

-- Special K


-- b1

01:00 Channel 208 -- ESPN Classic


K: Classic boxing stuff about Sugar Ray Robinson. Commentator Burt Sugar has been around forever, as has his hat. Robinson vs. Fullmer for the title, from 1957, in Chicago: our second Chicago program already. Everybody wore a coat and tie to boxing matches in 1957.

B: I'd rather see Sugar Ray's fist than eyeballs glued to a hand.

00:45 Channel 298 -- Noggin


"Eyeballs glued to hands are disturbing."
-- Special K

"The 2st Century Zoom. Kids and talking fists. And, I swear this is true, 'Granpoo.' Actually, that's kind of an insulting thing to say about Zoom."
-- b1


and to think, we're less than an hour in.

00:30 Channel 345 -- Ultimate Shopping Network

K says: OMG, our first shopping channel. 'We're pricin' 'em low and lettin' 'em go'. This is terrifying.

B says: Shopping Network enthused me so much that I called their 800 number, and in my excitement, the only response I got from the reservationist was "OK, then" ... "OK, then" ... "OK, then".

They're selling a ring that says it's made of "Platimum". Must be like those cell phone commericals where they have "um...limited minutes".

Learn to Spell with Ultimate Shopping Network

Quote of the Moment

"Every item on the Wheel is a Blowout Deal."

00:15 Channel 311 -- ABC Family

A movie, "Baby's Day Out."

"Stupid slapstick gangster bullshit. Probably the best thing we'll see all day."
-- Special K

"Enough digital compression artifacts to drive you insane. I ignored nearly all of it setting up my new A.I.M. screenname (b124HoTV)."
-- b1-66er

First channel

DirecTV 311: ABC Family Channel.

How appropriate that our first channel also means "minor emergency".

Final prep

B is here, the food is here, and the TV is warmed up. It's on. Join us in AIM chatroom TV24HR.

K's countdown

TV and I have a close personal relationship, just like most Americans who grew up in the '60s and '70s. As a kid, I loved TV and comic books (that's an obsession for another time). I liked Gilligan's Island, McHale's Navy, Addams Family, and I Dream of Jeannie. I loved science fiction shows, but there were few of them. I really loved game shows: when I stayed home sick from school, I would plan my viewing and watch one after another.

I grew up in a TV world that's unimaginably bleak today. My channels: 2, 4, 6, 7, and 9. Big 3 networks, one independent, one PBS. No cable, no UHF, no DVD, no VCR. It makes you shudder, doesn't it? And yet, we made do, because we didn't know any better. So when I got hooked up to satellite TV in 1997, I was fascinated by the universe of channels. I have this problem: I want to know everything that's going on, all the time. And one day, as I was scrolling through all those channels in the guide, I started to wonder: what are all those shows? Would they be interesting, wacky, bizarre, even if sampled for just a few minutes? What if I did it for a long time, say 24 hours, switching regularly and randomly? I filed the idea away in the back of my mind with other strange and stupid plans. I mentioned it to B1-66er (henceforth "B"), who immediately latched onto the desirability of such a pointless event.

Here's the thing about B: when you meet him, it won't be long before he'll go deep on some subject. It might be music, technology, probability, religion, politics, geography. He'll talk about something you know about, offering interesting and occasionally shocking facts that you didn't know before. You'll flip the bozo bit on him, thinking he's self-impressed, a blowhard, and an exaggerator. But here's the thing: you'll find out you're wrong about him, and he's right about whatever. THAT'S the truly shocking thing. B talks big, but he knows big, too. That's why, even though I originally imagined 24HoTV as a solo event, it's already infinitely better with B participating.

Eventually, the planets aligned and presented an acceptable weekend for our TV binge. Plans were made, rules decided, pizza rolls obtained. Adult responsibilities and other distractions have drastically cut my TV viewing time. But for 24 hours this weekend, it's all about the tube. We're going to see what's out there.

B1's Pre-amble to 24HoTV

24HoTV is Special K’s idea, not mine. He first mentioned it to me about a year ago at our standing Friday breakfast and I said, “If you ever do it, let me know. I’d like to join in.” The world is rife with people who claim they’ll do something, but when push-comes-to-shove they don’t; Special K knows me well enough to know that an offer like that, from someone like me, isn’t an idle one. The planets aligned in a way that only the K-man can understand and now we’re on the brink of this.

The K and I have intersecting backgrounds, it’s as though God wanted us to meet, but we were just being stubborn in doing so. We both grew up in the Denver-Metro area, meaning we liked and watched the same things (Denver Bears baseball, Dino’s restaurant, University of Colorado Trivia Bowl, etc.). In fact, Special K’s second-cousin, Solid Goldstein, was one of my college roommates -- they ended up meeting for the first time through me. The K and I didn’t cross paths until we worked at Apple Computer and we became intimately familiar when we worked the grueling (and ultimately thankless) days at General Magic.

Although we have (too) many similarities, the differences between us are huge and there’s not a month that goes by where Special K utters to me, in exasperation, the phrase, “Why would you say something like that?” I won’t go into the details of where we differ, not because I’m shy, but because they’ll become very obvious as we go along here.

I have a chequered past with TV. Like the vast majority of Americans, I watched it continually as a kid. Looking back, American astronauts, Ali & Cosell, Johnny Carson, Gilligan’s Island, Kung Fu and Archie’s Fun House are the TV concepts that stand out in my mind. When I went to college I didn’t have a TV and, like a junkie who only shot up to be cool, quickly fell out of the habit.

With the exception of the two years I lived in Britain in the early 90’s, I never got back into it. The only show I watched as an adult was Twin Peaks. I couldn’t believe studios were actually offering David Lynch a spot and wanted to see what would come out of it. (In my opinion, and remembering that I have nearly nothing to compare it to, Episode 3 of TP is the greatest thing to ever cross the American airwaves.)

Today I don’t even know if my TV gets reception – I use it only to watch DVD’s. I associate the act of watching TV with travel, and always flip it on immediately when I enter a hotel room.

I’ve also developed a moth-like attraction to the tube. If a TV is in a room, it’s nearly impossible for me to ignore and it sucks my brain right in. This is bad enough that I have to face away from TV in any public space I’m in (bars, restaurants, card rooms, etc), or what little is left of my mind disappears. Places like Las Vegas, where motion picture diamond visions illuminate outdoor environments, are truly hazardous for me. Three times in my life I’ve nearly been hit by a cabs while watching some dancer in tights shake it across the marquee of the MGM Grand.

It’s sardonic because as a kid I used to study with the TV on. My dad gave me a hard time about it once when I was in junior high school and I made a deal with him: as soon as it affects my grades, I’ll quit watching it as I study. From that very moment forward I got straight-A’s and ultimately graduated valedictorian of my high school class (well before the days of grade inflation, I might add).

(And no, I’m not bragging. In college, I watched nearly no TV and graduated bottom of my class. You do the math.)

If you never watch TV, absolutely the most striking thing about it is the blatant commercialism. Marketing is being shoved down your psychological throat constantly – and not just in the form of advertising. I never noticed it so much when I watched, but now in my days of television fasting, I can’t not notice it. I find the demagoguery of it all both sickening and fascinating.

In Bowling for Columbine, Marilyn Manson says he believes that the news is designed to instill fear in you, this in turn makes you buy product – it is the self-perpetuating cycle of TV news. I’m not a Michael Moore fan, Mr. Manson has never impressed me (beyond his ability to coax dollar bills out of goth-y kids pockets), and I’m the opposite of a conspiracy theorist, but I have trouble dropping the idea. The US is in something like its tenth consecutive year of a decreasing violent crime rate, yet you’d never know it from watching the news.

The events unfolding later today and tomorrow will be interesting. I already know it will be frustrating, tedious and funny. I have no plans of powering through and staying up all the way, although I could. I’d say the over/under line for how much I sleep should be set at about two hours. My circadian rhythm is so out-of-whack right with a recent trip to the UK and a work schedule necessitated by Gibraltarian communications (up at 04:00, in bed by 21:00), that it wouldn’t surprise me if this whole affair throws me back into a embryonic state. I expect monoliths in my immediate future.

I can’t remember the last time I was bored (it’s something well over a decade) so 24HoTV won’t be that. I have a new book contract so, assuming my brain doesn’t get sucked out, I’ll be working on a sample chapter and finishing my table of contents. I’m way way behind in email so I’ll get a ton of that done.

Special K is a good friend and a true asset to humanity. With the obvious exception of Britney Spears in her S&M outfit, I can think of no one whom I’d rather have sweat on my arm for 24 hours. Events such as this are incredibly bonding in the strangest of ways, and even though it’s a day “wasted,” the absolute best thing about it is for the rest of my life I’ll always know what I did on February 25, 2006 – I won’t even have to go back and read this. And Special K and I will be that much closer. That’ll be a great thing.

Thanks very much in advance to you, the reader, Special K and I both appreciate the fact you’re here. When I started my blog (www.b1-66ersworld.blogspot.com), I felt online journals were exercises in extreme (and usually inarticulate) narcissism. Having written one for half a year now, I can say with certainty that I was right. In the next 24 hours you’ll find out just how right I was.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Pre-event fears

I fear I'll sleep too much, or that I'll want sleep too much, or that I'll be horribly bored.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Special K Makes a Generality Prediction ...

... On the nature of channels in his version of DirecTV. This from an I.M. conversation:

rough estimate of channels --
locals: 25
general & news: 100
movies: 35
sports: 40
music: 25
total: 225

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A Response from Kraft

Thank you for visiting http://www.kraftfoods.com/.

Kraft Foods has a long history of contributing funds, food and employee support to organizations in communities around the world.

In order for your event to be considered, your organization should have a program that supports one of Kraft Foods' focus areas. Then, you must respond to an invitation and/or an online Request for Proposal (RFP). Kraft Foods makes grants to organizations that address focus area needs or specifically targeted needs in the communities in which our employees live and work and where we source our supplies. Kraft Foods also supports to a limited degree other community and civic organizations.

For more information on how to determine whether your organization or project fits into Kraft's funding criteria, please visit: http://kraft.com/responsibility/contributions_communities.aspx

The Request for Proposal (RFP) process is an online process designed to allow both prospective applicant organizations and our staff to maximize their time and resources in the grant making process. In the current challenging economic environment, the process becomes highly competitive and the end result is that there are many valuable and worthwhile proposals that Kraft Foods is unfortunately not able to support. For the current RFP schedule, go to http://kraft.com/responsibility/cc_rfp_calendar2006.aspx.

Thank you for contacting us and please add our site to your favorites and visit us again soon!
Kim McMiller
Associate Director, Consumer Relations


Translation: You punks aren't eating on our dime.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Want to Contribute to This Web Site?

{Opportunity to join is closed. This is left for posterity.}

If you are enthralled enough with the 24HoTV concept that you think you might like to do it yourself, we would love to have you along for the ride. Send us an e-mail and we'll add you as an author on this blog.

Do note a couple caveats:

1. We will only grant authorship to people who plan on doing the full 24 hours -- noon Pacific Time Saturday the 25th to noon Sunday the 26th. No short timers.

2. Your writing (while fully awake at least) has to be of reasonable caliber.

We make the decision on who posts as an author and who does not. If we decide you're out, you're out, period. But if you want to give it a shot, we want you in.

b1 & Special K

(Note added 2/20/06: You do not have to have DirecTV to participate. As long as you have a television with 24 hour reception on three or more channels, you're welcome to join us.)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

24HTV Is Now 24HoTV

After consultation with Special K, we've decided that the abbreviation 24HTV will no longer be used, instead it's 24HoTV. All docs are being retroactively updated.

Why? Because twenty-four-hot-vee sounds pretty damn cool.

Know it. Use it.


Join Us in the AIM Discussion

During the 24HoTV we will be manning an AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) chat room -- you're welcome to hang out with us, even if you're not in for the full 24.

For Macintosh OS X:
* Logon to any iChat account (AIM or .Mac)
* From the File menu, select Go to Chat
In the Go to Chat dialog, fill in TV24HR for the chat name and click Go

For Windows:
* If you don't already have it, go to AOL.com and download AIM, and do what's necessary to get a screenname (AIM is free and you don't need to have an AOL account to use it)
* Launch AIM and under the People menu choose Send Chat Invitation ...
* Invite b124HoTV to join you in the room TV24HR -- you'll be transferred into the room instantaneously.

We'll be creating special screen names for ourselves as the event gets closer and post them here.

Hope to see you in the rooms,
b1 & Special K

Friday, February 17, 2006

Auto-response from Kraft

{When I told them that General Mills was giving us the cold shoulder.}

b1-66er thom-4s!
Your feedback is very important and we'll do our best to respond to your inquiry as quickly as possible. Our representatives are here to assist you Monday through Friday between the hours of 9am to 9pm Eastern Standard Time, excluding holidays.

Thank you -

Kraft Consumer Relations

24 Hours of TV Press Release

24 Hours of TV – Don’t Just Watch TV, Live It

Beginning at noon, Pacific Time, next Saturday, February 25, 2006, celebrated author and Internet specialist Special K, along with his wise-cracking-yet-amiable sidekick b1-66er, will spend 24 hours straight in front of a television set in suburban Campbell, California. The event will be covered on the Internet as it occurs, both on a Web site dedicated to the purpose and in a dedicated AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) chat room. The public is encouraged to check in on the progress of the event, or even participate.

Watch or Join In?

The entire 24 Hours of TV (24HoTV) event will be covered before, during and after the actual viewing on the blog: www.24HoursOfTV.BlogSpot.com. Both Special K and b1-66er will be providing extensive commentary on the Web site along with color commentary in a dedicated AIM chat room. Further, anyone stepping forward to commit the same 24 hour period of time for TV viewing will be granted author privileges as a true participant. “I just want it to be fun,” Special K says. Interested parties should seek the 24HoTV site for more details.

A Stupid Idea Creates the Rule of Motion

Special K explains the background of the project: “I’m offered hundreds of program choices on TV. When I look at the listings I'm intrigued by the potential for strangeness, badness, and camp, but I never make the time to actually watch. I had an idea: plant myself in front of the TV and switch channels randomly. I want it to be strange, so I’ll change them frequently.” He pauses then adds, “It’s a really stupid idea.”

As with a shark’s inherent need to swim to live, 24HoTV is guided by the general Rule of Motion. Every 15 minutes, a channel on DirecTV will be randomly chosen and the channel will be changed – regardless of what is being watched at the time and irrespective of the channel being changed to (as long as there is a coherent signal).

General Mills Balks at the “Official Food of 24HoTV” – Food Sponsorship Welcomed

In a 24 hour time period, Special K and b1-66er are certain to get hungry. Clearly Totino’s Pizza Rolls should be the Official Food of 24HoTV and yet repeated efforts to contact General Mills for product sponsorship during the event have gone unanswered. B1-66er explains, “I went to the General Mills Web site, but their email communication ‘feature’ didn’t work. So I sent a FAX explaining what was happening. Two days go by, no answer. So I call their customer line and get pushed to a marketing rep only to find she was on vacation. I call her stand in and what do I get? No response.” B1-66er gets teary-eyed, adding, “Jeepers, you’d think they’d be proud to sponsor us. It’s tough when you think you’re covertly hated by such a fine company as General Mills. I’m losing sleep over it -- just not my R.E.M. sleep, thank goodness.”

A spokesperson for Polterzeitgeist Productions puts it this way, “The 'K' and the 'Sixer' are good men. Like all good men, they need to be fed, not mistreated like alley-way curs. Pizza rolls aren’t the only answer to this problem. I’m confident that a creative and understanding food corporation will step through and help the lads.” Definitely an opportunity worth considering given that Special K's personal Web site has a higher Google PageRank than even that of General Mills.

Why 24HTV?

B1-66er says, “I like doing interesting and unusual things. 24HoTV is a weird idea and I can think of no one I’d rather do it with than Special K.” Mr. Knaster takes a different view, “I just want to write about 24 Hours of Television as my mind drips away.”

[the release is posted here and here.]

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

24 Hours of TV (24HoTV)

See here.