Category Archives: Television

Depression…Or Not

I pretty much earned the Girl Scout badge for depression, although it was a long time ago.  But because of it (and lots of therapy), I can say that I recognize the signs very well.  And this week, I was headed toward depression, which culminated last night.  Fortunately, this is very rare, in fact so rare, I barely recognized it.  Because I had to learn to change so much, to perceive things differently.

But depression FEELS different.  It isn’t the same as being sad.  It isn’t the same as having a bad week.  I’ve been both for at least a week.  And as always, it’s a combination of things.

I can remember having a conversation with the psychiatrist about the kinds of things that made me depressed, and I would say, but that can’t be it.  It’s just too minor to make me feel this way.  And he would say, Yes, but what about Y and Z?  Couldn’t X, Y, and Z together make you feel this bad?  When I said, surely not, he would say Why not?  Hmmm.  So we would (or I would) painstakingly pick apart X, Y, and Z, and put them back together in a new configuration.  A way that wasn’t as scary and made just as much sense as my old way.  He was a genius, although I had to do the work.

So this week, here’s what happened.  I read a book that left me feeling very unsettled.  My sister’s dog died.  My boss sent me a snarky email.  (Okay, that one was easier to get over, but it just added to the general downward spiral.)  My bookkeeper and my assistant manager at work did a couple of really stupid things and I had to have a word with them.  (It IS my job, but I still hated it.  They are both marvelous, admirable people.) I found out that my neighbor’s dogs had been seized by Animal Control and one of them was euthanized.  Since I reported the neighbors in the first place, this is of course all my fault.  (Not.)  I’m having trouble with my computer.

I’ve been having trouble sleeping.  I always have very vivid dreams that I can remember, but I’ve been having nightmares that wake me up.  Yesterday the newspaper posted the videos of interviews they did with breast cancer survivors, which I participated in.  And that was the last straw.  All I could think about was how old I looked, and to a lesser degree, how I should have worn something different.

Last night I couldn’t even go to sleep, much less stay asleep.

Spiraling into depression is hard to describe.  It’s like falling down a well.  I had forgotten.  So what you have to do is refuse to fall all the way.  You have to grab onto the bricks on the way down and cling, even if your fingernails break. You have to dig your toes into the cracks between the bricks, like a rock climber, and cling.

The mental equivalent is that you have to force yourself to focus on the good things you saw or experienced lately, because they are there if you can find them.  A friend (that I didn’t think was speaking to me) unexpectedly dropped by my office and took me to lunch.  While reading at my picnic table this week, some sort of little black waspy thing that was annoying me captured some sort of very fat white larva.  It was apparently so heavy that the black waspy thing couldn’t fly.  So when I tried to wave it away, it would just waddle to another part of the table, because letting go of the prize was not an option.  I was so amused I was practically in tears.  But there is a serious lesson there…it might seem like a small thing.  It might seem like too small a thing to counteract the bad things, but it is, if you will let it be.  Plus, never let go of the bricks.

Last night when I couldn’t sleep, I was surfing TV channels. First I watched a little of Discovery ID (No.  Women killing people.)  Then NatGeo Wild.  (Okay better.  Wild cats killing food.) But the next program was about spiders.  No.  No spiders.  I finally ended up at the Cooking Channel where Alton Brown was doing eggplant dishes, followed by bananas.

I fell asleep somehere around Bananas Foster.  Today I feel cured.  Who knew that all it would take was eggplant?

Wow! TV Really IS a Wasteland

First, a hearty welcome to my one visitor each yesterday from India, Sri Lanka, and Chile.  (Why?)

So last night, in a fit of irrationality, I decided to do something I almost never do–channel surf.  I probably watched each of these programs I cruised past for anywhere from 5 to 30 seconds.

First program–and I can’t even tell you what channel this was–was a guy, a radio talk show host I’d never heard of, saying, “Obamacare is a government takeover of the insurance industry”.  I can still remember when they used to call it a government takeover of health care.  At least now they are getting a little closer to right.  Which is like saying they’ve made it from Alpha Centauri to Pluto.  Now they’re at least in the same solar system.

“So”, he says, “Do you want the same people who run the postal system to run the insurance industry?”  And the crowd roars, “NOOOOO!”

Well, let’s talk for a minute about the U.S. Postal Service.  It was authorized by the Constitution.  The first Postmaster General was appointed by Benjamin Franklin in 1775, at the Second Continental Congress.  I quote from the Wikipedia article on the history of the USPS:  ”  The USPS is legally obligated to serve all Americans, regardless of geography, at uniform price and quality”.  So they’ve been delivering mail for over 200 years.  They deliver mail (by donkey) to the bottom of the Grand Canyon (yes, there are people living there).  Are they struggling now?  Yes.  But I’d say that’s a pretty good track record.  So why?  What “killed” the USPS is the Internet, and email.  Is that their fault?  Or the government’s fault?  And do the people in the screaming crowd in front of this radio talk show host know or understand any of this?  Fakename says, “NOOOOO!”  All they care about is that the price of a stamp went up by one cent last year.  Which of course means they are being gouged by the government and their rights are being taken away.  Or something.

So you can see why I rarely channel surf, since I can go off on a tangent about something I saw for all of (in this case) about 20 seconds.

Next stop:  MSNBC, which had a program on called “Inside San Quentin”.  What IS it with these prison programs?  Why are Americans so fascinated with what happens behind bars?  I don’t get it.  This took about 5 seconds.

Next stop:  CNBC, for an episode of “American Greed”.  I watch this sometimes, and often it’s about Ponzi schemes of one sort or another.  Bernie Madoff may have been the most glaring example, but really, it’s happening everywhere.  This is one of those programs you can watch and congratulate yourself on not being that stupid.  Because for these schemes to work, the participants have to be extremely gullible.  Madoff’s genius was in convincing people that there was an exclusivity to his operation (you had to beg him to steal your money).  Madoff’s operation appealed to the worst:  greed, naivete, and egotism.

I’d like to say that I’ve never had enough money to be that stupid.  I’d like to generalize and say that perhaps everyone with little money is more careful with it.  But think about the people with limited incomes who spend all kinds of money buying products from QVC, because “it’s such a great deal!”  Gambling.  Entering sweepstakes.

So last night’s episode was about an offshore banking scam.  Offshore banking–who does that remind me of?  This particular one was in Grenada, not the Cayman Islands 🙂

I probably spent an entire minute on this program–but I was not in the mood.  So as you might expect, I ended up at the NatGeoWild Channel.  They were airing a program on pit vipers.  First up was the infamous Gaboon viper, which has the distinction of being the heaviest viper (though not necessarily the longest), with the longest fangs and the highest venom yield of any venomous snake.

Naturally, if you’re bitten by one, you are almost always in the middle of nowhere, unless you’re crazy and keeping one as a “pet”.  Which this guy was doing, and another guy was trying to measure the length of the fangs.  The owner is holding the snake’s head (no gloves, even, but he had a lot of tattoos.  Think that helped?)  Suddenly, and very calmly he tells the measurer person and the cameraman to back away, because he has to let go.  It all happens so fast that you don’t realize it’s because he’s been bitten.  The snake had punctured its own lower jaw with its fang to bite him.  There is a moral to this story.

Next segment:  Tallahassee’s very own Bruce Means, who is bitten by a rattlesnake.  Bruce is tecnically an ecologist, so I guess I’d have to say he has a special interest in herpetology.  He is an expert in everything from the tiniest and most endangered salamander to the most dangerous of native pit vipers.   You know, rattlesnakes.

And then–I fell asleep.  This is kind of the reverse of trying to tell someone about a dream you had.  You are on a mission to Mars, with somebody you went to high school with, and then you’re naked in a room where you have to take a test, and you can’t remember who Schopenhauer was, and then what happens?  You wake up.

That will teach me to channel surf when I’m tired.

The Vegetative State

It is a mystery of modern medical science as to how a person (me, for example) can do what amounts to almost nothing and still end up physically exhausted and mentally drained. 

Of course, I do work 8-9 hours a day, Monday through Friday.  “Work” for me, though, involves a lot of observing, communicating, and supervising.  (Q:  How many managers does it take to change a light bulb?  A:  Only one.  But it takes two employees–one to hold the ladder and the other to actually change the bulb.)  On Friday, that 8-9 hours turned into 12, which turned out to be my limit–or slightly beyond it. 

On Saturday morning, I did the NY Times crossword puzzle online with Fakesister, as usual, and that was the last hurrah for my brain for the day.  I spent the rest of the day unapologetically vegetating.  And what does it take to truly vegetate?  Television, of course. 

First, I watched a Tarzan movie.  “Tarzan’s Hidden Jungle” with Gordon Scott as Tarzan.  The movie was made in 1955 and was one of only four with Scott as Tarzan.  I’ll never forget the first time I ever saw someone other than Johnny Weissmuller playing Tarzan.  I was shocked to the depth of my being.  It was at that point that my mother had to explain to me that Tarzan was not a real person, and that these were actors.  I already knew about Santa and the Easter Bunny, but this was something different.  This was total betrayal.  Having no choice, I finally adjusted to it, but I have forever remained loyal to Johnny Weissmuller.  If it isn’t him, it isn’t Tarzan.  Gordon Scott, by the way, manages to do all sorts of jungly ape-man things, like rescuing a damsel in distress from a raging river, without one hair on his 1950’s haircut ever being rearranged.  Tarzan with hairspray. 

I watched an episode of Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero that I had actually seen before.  It focuses primarily on the the construction challenges, the design, and the architecture of the Memorial, but that’s inseparable from the emotional content of the project.  To give you one small example:  the two reflecting pools that will sit on the footprints of the two towers will have the names of the victims etched in bronze on plates around the edges of the pools.  One day, one of the construction supervisors is permitted to go to the plant where the etching work is taking place.  He is allowed to press the button which starts the etching machine, and then he watches as the machine engraves the name of his baby brother.  His brother was lost on 9/11 and his remains were never found.  Once the metal cools, he touches the letters and says “This is my brother now.”  As a result of watching this show, I am determined to one day go to NYC and see it.  (Spencercourt, when the time comes I will be calling on you for travel advice.)

Finally, I watched a couple of episodes of “The Invaders” on the National Geographic Wild channel, about invasive animal species.  One was about hippos in Columbia, which were part of Pablo Escobar’s menagerie.  What is it with these bad guys who like to keep collections of exotic animals?  Besides Escobar, Uday Hussein comes to mind.  In any case, what should another of these invasive animals be but my old friend, the nutria?  I never before realized how actually dangerous they are.  They carry diseases and parasites of all kinds, most seriously, tularemia and leptospirosis.  And not only that.  In Maryland, where they appear to have the most serious problem with them outside of Louisiana, Federal Wildlife officials are on a mission to eradicate them from the Delmarva Peninsula.  They use Labrador Retrievers to track them, but the dogs are fitted with special collars which cover their entire throats, because cornered nutria will go for the jugular with tooth and claw.  And to think I used to watch them swim in, and sometimes hang out on the banks of, Lake Ponchartrain.  Luckily my dog, who was always with me, was pretty incurious. 

This is a kind of snapshot of the kinds of things that interest me.  From Tarzan to 9/11 to nutria.  It’s no wonder I’m tired.

No Wonder They Call It a Wasteland

Last night I had an unusual experience, which is that I was attacked by the twin demons of boredom and restlessness.  I’m usually too busy or too tired to be either.  I needed something mindless to occupy my brain until I was tired enough to sleep.

Enter TV. 

I watch TV the same way I shop.  If I need a widget, I go to the widget store and buy one, then I go home.  I don’t browse.  I watch TV the same way.  There are certain shows I watch routinely, and if they aren’t on, I don’t watch TV.  I’ve always found it fascinating to read about the schedule wars.  Apparently the most desirable time-slot is one which follows a very popular program and which leads into another popular program to follow.  So people more or less are duped into watching while waiting. 

So here in the U.S. Eastern Time Zone, it boils down to this: the major national networks’ news programs end at 7:00 P.M.  Dramas for grown-ups start at 9:00 P.M.  That hour in between is sit-com territory.  I don’t watch sit-coms.  It isn’t that I never have–of the current ones, I think The New Adventures of Old Christine is probably the best.  At least in my limited experience–if it isn’t on CBS, I haven’t even seen a blip of it.  Of the former shows, I thought Home Improvement  and All In The Family were very funny.  And there you have it:  Fakename’s complete guide to sit-coms. 

I am tempermentally unsuited to sit-coms.  They are too brief and mostly not funny, and what humor there is is…just stupid. 

My Monday through Friday routine, TV-wise is this:  I watch the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, which ends at 7:00 P.M.  Thirty minute break.  Then Jeopardy! is on until 8:00 P.M.  There has to be a serious emergency for me to miss Jeopardy!, such as a friend phoning with a personal tragedy (“Oh, you just found out your boyfriend is married?  Gee, I’d love to talk, but there’s Alex Trebek.  Gotta go!”)  Other than that, I’ll miss it only when the utilities have been disconnected. 

Then I get another hour break, until TV for grown-ups starts at 9:00 P.M.–except on Mondays, when House, M.D. comes on at 8:00.  It’s one of the mysteries of life that Fox can have the best TV show on the air. 

So Monday it’s House.  Tuesday it’s NCIS  and Wednesday it’s Criminal Minds (although I can take it or leave it in both those cases).  Thursday it’s CSI, the original–the spin-offs are lame.  Then there is a major break from the end of CSI at 10:00 P.M. on Thursday, to Sunday at 7:00 P.M. for 60 Minutes.  There is literally nothing on TV in between.  Occasionally I’ll watch a movie.  Or something on the History or Discovery Channel.  “Ice Road Truckers” was great. 

So last night, I channel surfed and alit briefly on all sorts of programs.  I watched the opening ceremony of the Vancouver Olympics, which was spectacular.  But I had to move on when they began the parade of athletes.  At last I landed on the Joy Behar Show.  She was interviewing people in connection with an upcoming documentary called Prison Wives.  I’m actually still too speechless to comment.   

And on the journey to that final destination, I passed even worse possibilities…maybe.  Fakesister commented this morning that I lead a sheltered life.  Who knew that was true?

Worm Grunting

Before we get into this topic, Fakename would like to announce that after her post about Afghanistan, she vowed to post nothing else of a controversial nature until after the holidays.  However, the U.S. Senate is making this very hard on her.  But a promise is a promise, even if it’s to yourself. 

It’s kind of like a self-imposed Lent.  My imperfect understanding is that during Lent, you must give up something, and it has to be something significant.  You can’t, for example, give up Brussel sprouts just because you hate them.  No, you have to give up something you like.  So it seems to me that during Lent, if you observe it, the only thing you’ll be able to think about is your next hit of Brussel sprouts. 

Moving along to the topic, the TV show Dirty Jobs (Discovery Channel) on Tuesday of this week did an episode on worm grunting.  I was alerted to it by an article in the Tallahassee newspaper that morning. 

The worm grunting capital of the world is in Sopchoppy, Florida.  As the video I’ll post at the end says, Sopchoppy is 35 miles and 100 years south of Tallahassee. 

The process of worm grunting involves driving a sharpened wooden stake into the ground, then grinding a large iron file rhythmically across the stake, which produces a sort of groaning (“grunting”) sound.  (Grunters call this a “roop”).  Earthworms then start pouring out to the surface.  Really.  It works.  You pick them up and sell them for bait.  Mr. Revell, who was the star of the Dirty Jobs episode and of the video I’m about to post, said he gets either 6 or 7 cents a worm.  The most worms he ever got in one day was 45,000.  Do the math.  And he does it every day, starting before dawn. 

I am totally fascinated by this whole thing for several reasons.  First, that it has its own language (“roop”).  Second, the scientific basis.  Grunters apparently place great faith in the nature of the sound you’re able to create (the “grunt”).  But in fact, earthworms can’t hear.  But aha…biologists have determined, or, I should say, theorized, that the vibrations of grunting cause the earthworms to flee to the surface to escape imagined underground predators, specifically, moles.  It would make sense that the “grunting” would have to closely approximate the vibrations caused by moles, therefore, you could get it wrong. 

The final thing I would say is:  never make fun of how people make a living, and these people, the Revells, are doing just that, making a living.  They work for themselves and answer to no one.  They get to “work” in the Appalachicola National Forest every day. 

Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs has barely contained contempt for the people he’s visiting.  His whole attitude fairly screams, “I’m only doing this for the money.”  I have much more respect for Mrs. Revell, who said, I love being out here and hearing the birds in the morning.  Check out Worm Grunting in the Neighborhood.

TV Snobbery

I can’t for the life of me figure out how TV has gotten such a bad rep.  These days  it is so fashionable to say “I don’t watch TV” or “I don’t let my kids watch TV”.  And I want to say, “You are an idiot”.

But just check out a few of the quotes on Turn Off Your TV.  Or you could always just Google “why TV is bad”, like I did, and it will give you plenty of reasons to throw your TV in the trash, as depicted on the home page of Turn Off Your TV.  The mental image we get from the TV Is Bad sector is one of passive, obese, zombified kids, with a bag of potato chips in one hand and a 16-ounce Coke in the other.  Then, of course, as soon as they can pull their glazed eyes away from the screen, they will immediately go out and strangle somebody to death, since on TV, violence isn’t real and everybody comes back to life. 

Then, assuming you aren’t in prison for strangling someone, you will grow up to be an adult sitting mindlessly in front of the TV watching “As The World Turns” (or Glenn Beck, but that’s another story).  Pass the potato chips, please. 

But this is pseudo-intellectualism at its finest.  You think if you deny your kids TV, they will read more?  Not necessarily.  And do you really want your kids to grow up on Walden Pond?  Contemplating the wonders of the growth of a single blade of grass?  (Not sure if Thoreau actually did that, but it would fit.)

Here is reality according to Fakename:  TV opens up whole worlds of experience to kids and adults alike, worlds you might never otherwise experience in person.  I have always been an avid reader.  When I was a kid, we lived next door to the library, and every Saturday I would check out 7 books, one for each day of the week.  It was a small town, and a small library, and eventually I started to run out of fiction that interested me, so I moved into non-fiction, specifically, biographies.  I will never forget this one biography I read about a woman (I do forget who she was) who went on safari in Africa and it was so thrilling and exotic that I immediately abandoned all my plans to grow up and marry Paul McCartney. 

But cheetahs?  Hippos?  Sure, I could see pictures of them, but there is no substitute for seeing them either in person or on TV.  The zoo doesn’t exactly count.  On TV, you see the way they move, the way they live, and it becomes real to you in a way that neither a book or the zoo can do.  TV doesn’t destroy imagination, it augments it. 

As a kid, I watched cartoons, which was sometimes traumatic because I used to cry when characters fell off a cliff, even if they survived.  Roadrunner was my hero, and my first crush was on Mighty Mouse.  At a later date there was “Wide World of Disney”, and “The Ed Sullivan Show”.

TV exposes you to things you would not otherwise be able to see or imagine.  How else would I have been able to see the Beatles’ debut in the U.S., or better yet, humans landing on the moon?  You get to see music, sports, history, nature.  And yes, sometimes you just get to escape.  Tell me what is wrong with that. 

Unless your brain is already completely empty for some reason beyond your control, watching TV causes a reaction.  You think.  That cannot be bad.

Fakename Goes Digital…Part 2

Faithful readers will recall that I purchased a digital TV in February, and while I managed to get it plugged up to the electrical outlet and the cable box correctly, I was defeated by the menu button. Step One was to choose the language for your menu.  It’s now May 9th, and I’ve gotten really tired of seeing “Mute” spelled out in Ukrainian on the screen.  I decided it was time to face my demons and attack the User Manual again.

The occasion for this is that I decided to watch the DVD I bought of “Marley & Me”, although I vaguely remembered that use of the built-in DVD required some sort of setup.  Of all the words I despise in the Ukrainian language, “setup” is the worst.    I was hoping I could just put in the disc and that the TV would recognize it should switch to DVD. 

The first problem I encountered was that the disc wouldn’t go in unless you forced it.  I’m used to CD’s in the computer, where the tray just sort of grabs the CD and pulls it right in.  I thought something similar should happen with the DVD slot on the TV.  Once I got the disc in, nothing happened, so I pressed “Eject”.  Nothing happened.  Not to worry.  I was able to pull it out with a fondue fork. 

Time to read the directions and really concentrate.  As soon as I started, I knew I should have paid more attention the first time.  The introduction to the manual states:  “Thank you for choosing this product.  This manual will guide you for proper operation.  Before operating the TV, please read this manual properly.  [I could read it improperly?  Would that be like, reading it naked?]  Please do keep this manual in a safe place for future references.  [I should not store it in the fireplace?]  This portable TV has been designed for private use only.”  [I’d invite you over to watch the season finale of House, but my owner’s manual prohibits it.]

After 4 hours and 32 minutes of carefully reading the manual, I found, buried at the top of Page 14, the following instructions, more or less:  Press the menu button.  Select the up/down buttons to select “Setup”.  Then select the right arrow button to display the Submenu.  That had been my problem all along–failure to access the Submenu.  In no time at all, I was able to change the language to English.

The next hurdle was making the sleep button work.  It turns out you have to go to “Advanced Video Menu”.  I mean that should have been totally obvious, right?  Your first option there is setting the time and date.  I got started on that and managed to change the year and the month.  Then there was the time.  First you have to select “Auto” or “Manual”.  After selecting “Manual”, you can’t just press the numbers on the remote for the time, you have to press the right arrow button repeatedly so the time advances minute by minute.  I had to go from 10:35 P.M. to 2:10 P.M.  After like 10,000 presses of the button, I made it to the correct time.  I was really worried that during this process I would exhaust the AAA batteries in the remote.  I have no extras.  Here in Fakeworld, we are strictly a AA household.  Once I had the correct time, I went back and selected “Auto” for the time.  It promptly returned to 10:35 P.M. 

At that point I became Pentecostal.  Talk about speaking in tongues.  I cursed the User Manual in words I didn’t even know I knew.  I might have been speaking Klingon.  Or maybe it was just Ukrainian. 

I gave up working on the time and worked on making the sleep button work.  I may have succeeded with this, but the possibility exists that it’s always on.  So just when the final scene of the season finale of House is on, the TV will turn itself off. 

Needless to say, I am no closer to being able to use the DVD player than I was when I woke up this morning.  I expect it will take me another three months to work up the courage.  Meanwhile, I’ll keep the fondue fork handy.

Fakename Goes Digital

First, a pox on the local CBS Affiliate for sticking with the original date for switching from analog to digital, which they did on February 17th, thereby creating a TV emergency for me.  I have digital cable services, but only one cable-friendly TV.  The console TV in the main room died some years back, or, as I like to say, turned itself into a table.  I was making do with a small analog TV with rabbit ears.  With foil on the end of the rabbit ears.  Sitting on the old TV/new table.

Going digital was not that easy for me.  To begin with, as a general rule, Fakename and electronic devices do not belong in the same sentence, unless the devices are very simple.  Here’s what I mean by simple:  it must have only one cord.  One end of the cord plugs into a wall socket.  The other end plugs into some hole in the back of the device.  If there is more than one hole in the back of the device, that end of the plug must fit in only one of them.  (Colors and pictures welcome.) Alternatively, the device can operate on batteries.  I can install an unlimited number of batteries, since I’ve learned to recognize the positive and negative ends of batteries, and where they fit always has nice little plus and minus signs. 

There should be a limited number of buttons or switches on the device, preferably only one which says “On/Off”.  There must not be any button called “Menu”.    Therefore, I’m an ace at the installation and operation of coffee pots. 

So yesterday I took the plunge.  Since I have digital cable, I really didn’t need to buy a digital TV, but the three models I had a choice of at the place where I chose to shop each looked like they weighed at least 250 pounds.  So I went with digital, all of which were flat screen and had a high portability factor for 114 pound weakling owners.

Step One in the installment process is getting it out of the box, which has been put together with Superglue and a nuclear-powered staple gun.  I always allot four hours for this part.

So I got the new TV out of the box last night, set it up, and plugged it in.  That wasn’t too hard.  It doesn’t quite fit my definition of “simple”, since in addition to the power cords, you have the cable issue to deal with.  Cable from wall to cable box.  Second cable from cable box to TV.  Only one place on TV that cable will fit.  So far so good.  I did learn during this process that besides “Menu”, I don’t want any appliance which uses the word “Coaxial”. Then I turned on the TV.

The first thing that comes up automatically is the menu, and it asks you to choose a language.  English, which came up first, was my first choice.  It told me if that was OK, that I should press OK.  I can grasp that concept.  So I pressed OK…and the language changed.  After several presses of OK and language changes, I believe my menu is now in Ukrainian.  Mercifully, after a brief period of inactivity, the menu turned itself off.  Then the TV told me it had no signal.  That message moved around from place to place on the screen.  I guess in case my attention span was so short that  I missed it in the upper right corner, I would catch it when it moved into the lower left corner. 

I was pretty sure I had everything connected correctly.  I resigned myself to the idea that I would have to call Comcast to have them check the signal.  Calling Comcast is one of my favorite things to do, next to setting my hair on fire. 

This morning in the shower, I was like, Wait.  Doesn’t the TV have to be on Channel 3 to get the cable signal?  Dripping wet, I ran into the room and pressed “Power” then “3” on the remote control (good thing you can’t get electrocuted by remotes).  And Shazam!  We have TV.

I’m thinking the picture quality needs a little tweaking.   I’ll be doing that as soon as I learn to speak Ukrainian.