...please stand by.
for some reason or another, blogger is once again not allowing me to upload images...
i mean, come ON--it's 2009! can't we get these kinks fixed?!
anyway, minor setback, that's all.
the title of today's blog, for those of you not old enough to remember, comes from back in the 60s and 70s when television stations--and remember; there were only, like, five or six of them back then--would have some kinda glitch in the system, some equipment malfunction or a timing issue. as a kid figuratively glued to the television, the sudden dead air would be jarring, breaking the hypnotic spell the glowing box had on me and, in some cases, actually scaring me and my brother.
the trick was to see how long the dead air would hang before someone at the station a.) noticed, and 2.) got the little sign up with some--usually cute--graphic bearing the words "we are experiencing technical difficulties." or somesuch comment. if it went on long enough, they'd play music. elevator music.
and it was a bit scary.
remember, this is in a time when we were still doing air raid drills in school, when the country was still a bit rattled from the cuban missile crisis. we were told very simply that, should; the air raid siren go off, we needed to get under our desks ('cause that would supposedly protect us from the dropping atom bombs). (the kid talk around the playground regarding this was that they wanted you to get under your desk so that it would be easier to find and identify your body.)
but back to tv...
as if to scare us even more, the fcc required all networks to go through a monthly emergency scenario simulation where a...not piercing, but certainly attention getting tone would, without warning, fill your living room with it's high pitched wail. a voice would come on shortly explaining that this station had been conducting a test of the emergency broadcasting system, had this been an actual emergency, we would have been notified blah, blah, blah...
get under your desks.
we had been conditioned, y'see, as kids at school, to quietly panic when the sirens blew, to sit and wait patiently to see if your world was going to blow up.
they still do this, of course, though it's a much more refined and understated exercise.
but that fear, that scare that jumps into you when normal television broadcasting is interrupted--it's beautiful.
i still get it. i love it.
we've heard the slightly calmer but still jarring buzzer sound on our tv quite a few times in the past few months in association with severe weather. where i live it's snow and ice and freezing rain in the winter. and torrential rains and flooding in the summer. the ice storm that tore through here and destroyed so many trees a month or so ago had the weather service making announcements every five minutes or so, constant advisories.
they're both scary and thrilling.
"five for friday"
so sharon and i had been leaving, of all things, the game show network on in the background while we wrapped gifts and decorated the house, not wanting to miss a minute of any of the traditional christmas shows and movies that were on. we dig anything with trivia questions just to try to stay sharp, but i also noticed, at a glance, a game called chain reaction that has you try to guess the missing words to connect each two-word phrase to another. like this;
i give you
and you go
so here's yours...