Treasure Hunting

I’ll admit that I love contests, game shows, puzzles and any other form of semi-intellectual test that might result in winning some sort of prize. Today’s adventure is the NBC show “Treasure Hunters”.

Over the course of several weeks, real people on real teams are running all over the planet trying to solve clues and determine where to go next to find a series of clues. When they have all the clues, they’re supposed to be able to figure out where to go to win a treasure chest of cash/gold/dubloon or some other similar reward. And, to make things more interesting for those of us “at home”, NBC has added an online component where they’ve been offering a contest to also win a cash prize.

Now, the online puzzles are sometimes fun, sometimes a bit challenging (because there aren’t that many instructions/directions or other clues). But overall, it’s not extremely difficult… and if you do this long enough, you should be able to answer a question they ask at the end of every week’s clue.

I didn’t realize until today, however, that there are folks blogging with the exact step-by-step instructions of how to “solve” each clue. And I just don’t get it. If you were trying to win $250,000, and the entrance “fee” is based on your ability to solve the weekly puzzles, would YOU tell other people how to solve them?

Mind boggling. More so than the puzzles themselves.

MTV VH1 … Friday Night Videos

Does anyone else remember Friday Night Videos? I believe it was on NBC… but maybe it was even a UHF channel (heck, does anyone remember UHF anymore?). In any event, FNV was pre-MTV, definitely pre-VH1 … and it was the start of music videos.

Yeah, most of them sucked. Artists didn’t know what was going to work in this medium, so they tried everything. And even as MTV came online with their first video of “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles (anyone who didn’t know of FNV ever think of how that song was the first one played on MTV if MTV was the first music video offering?), artists were still trying to figure out how to get their music across to listeners in a format other than pure sound.

The result was, as I said, less than great. People who had never seen their favorite bands other than on album cover art were sometimes shocked to discover the “face behind the song”. Boy George, Adam Ant and other “gender benders” enjoyed the first round of being able to be themselves on national television while pressing conservative buttons everywhere. Cyndi Lauper, with her high voice and tule skirts, also started a fashion revolution … along with, lest we forget, Madonna… who could be counted upon to raise the lust level in young men around the world.

But faster than might be expected, bands turned the videos into something more than the song. They used the video as a way to tell a story, share related images, even attack social crises like homelessness, HIV/AIDS, missing children, etc. And they also expanded the art of the video… such as with my favorite song, A-Ha’s “Take on Me”, which was the first video to combine live action and animation.

However, over 20 years later, there are still good videos and bad videos. And while you would think that certain things would have become “standard” in a video, it appears that they haven’t. For today, on MTV, I happened across the video for “Where’d You Go” by Fort Minor featuring Holly Brook.

Now, the song is ok… but it does contain profanity. You and I both know that MTV isn’t going to let that slip through, just like the radio stations won’t. And I’ve gotta’ believe that even if the artist themselves don’t understand that, their manager should.

So, when they’re recording the video, why wouldn’t they RECORD A VIDEO WITHOUT THE FRIGGIN’ PROFANITY? Because we already know that songs played on the radio sound really stupid when they blank out the audio for a swear word. So guess how stupid it looks when they blank out the audio and YOUR LIPS KEEP MOVING?

I mean, really. Are you kidding me? If you like your song so much that you want to use profanity in it, fine… but either record a clean version, or understand that your song/video can’t play. Cuz it just sounds stupid. And it looks even MORE stupid on the video.

I love Bloop!

OK… time to coin a term.

“Bloop”… as in “Bloop, Bloop, Bloop”… the sound a TiVo makes when it’s fast forwarding through all of those crappy commercials.

I loving having Bloop. And I’m very sad when I have no Bloop but have a commercial staring me in the face.

I’m even more sad when I’m in real life and I have no Bloop.




Convincing someone that I’m going to write…

So I told you that I was going to write. But I didn’t. If you know me, you can harp at me.

But such is life.

My life is consumed with work… and TiVo. Someone should’ve invented this YEARS ago. I’ve wasted a lot of time over the years trying to record shows that were of interest. Now, I just say whether I like certain types of shows and BAM, it automatically records them.

OK, so anyone remember that “as seen on TV” remote control with the dials that would supposedly work with any VCR? You just dialed in the time to turn on and off the recorder and wow… no more manuals and blinking 12’s. Sayonara, suckers!

Hehe… god, I love this device. You can ignore all of the crap you never wanted to watch anyways and simply focus on the stuff you did. And my god, if you need to walk the dog, tinkle, or even get some work done in the middle of your show, all ya’ gotta’ do is hit the big yellow pause button.

But hey, if that wasn’t good enough, now there’s TiVoToGo. Simply transfer what you’ve recorded on your TiVo to your computer and play it whenever. The only limitation is the size of the harddrive on your laptop.

Now all we need to do is wait another few months until someone develops an iPod-based media player. Then you can transfer your shows to your iPod and watch them there. If I could develop software, I’d be rich. 🙂