One class down, the Gadsden Trip, the TV Dilemma, and the Ultraman Tiga semi-oops

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BLOT: (07 Nov 2010 - 01:56:43 AM)

One class down, the Gadsden Trip, the TV Dilemma, and the Ultraman Tiga semi-oops

It is almost 1:30am right now, and I pretty much have to be in bed by 2:00am, so this post will be written a bit more hurried than I like to write them in. This weekend (last night and today) was spent wrapping up my final class meeting for LS542, which is a Library Science class dealing with helping teachers (grade school through high school) design lesson plans and activities. I was the only non-School Medial Specialist in the room, and the only one without extensive training for handling school-aged children, so I often approached assignments with a degree of cynicism wrapped around common sense. The others tended to take them more as a delight to explore and dive within. Collages and Bulletin Boards (and hand puppets, cannot forget the hand puppets) are about as far outside of my comfort zone as I am sure discussing the deeply ironic nature of contemporary horror would be, if not outside, not altogether congruent with their own. I appreciate hand puppets—even I do not quite get the joy of Punch...—I just tend to think in user-interface and efficiency of search algorithms.

Usually, with these weekend classes, people show up a bit early. This Friday, I got there about a quarter of an hour before class started, and the room was empty. Not even the professor had showed up. I had an immediate spike of paranoia. Did I pick the wrong weekend? Was I somehow later than everyone else and the class had moved to another room? It was shocking how fast self-doubt slammed into me. I had only three hours of sleep, and not deep sleep at that. I had had an immense couple of days building up to it. I was tired, and feeling kind of vulnerable. The five minutes I waited for someone else to show up, the professor in this case, was this horribly negative moment. Stupid brain. Then, one of her first questions she asked me if I was ready to switch over to be a School Media Specialist and seemed kind of surprised when I said "No, no, I like my reference work."

I do like my reference work. Talking to Sarah about it, afterward, I told her that it was kind of like being given a series of puzzles and being asked to help find a solution. Not to solve them, usually, but to work out algorithms of solution. And then to teach those algorithms and confirm their validity. Reference librarianship is a weird thing because there are more facts than any one person can handle, but you learn to organize and set up mental paths so that you remember general arcs of motion, along with pertinent sub-arcs.

Enough with library science blather, let's move on to something more important: the TV. A few weeks ago, maybe a month+, Comcast switched just about all of their channels over to a digital tuning system. Those without some sort of DTV style tuner, and apparently one specific to Comcast, gets only about 15 channels now, including a TV Guide channel that mocks you for the programming you don't have. Since I mostly watch TV shows on DVD or through something iTunes or Amazon's Unbox, not having a ready TV full of content is not that big a deal. Except we are still paying for "cable" (limited basic) and so it comes down to the choice: do we cancel our cable subscription and get a converter and antenna, or do we upgrade our service for about $20-$40 a month and get the other channels back? I like a handful of those now missing channels—AMC, SyFy, Comedy Central, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim—but can do without the majority of them. At the same time, no real reason for us to keep paying even $15 for the Limited Basic if all we are getting are broadcast stations. We looked into the converter/antenna set, and it would run us about $100. The upgrade would quickly exceed this over a few months, but then again, the broadcast option only nets us a dozen channels while the upgrade gets back those mentioned above. I'll flip a coin, maybe.

I have 20-minutes before my self-imposed finishing of this entry, so I'll end with a quick discussion of an aggravating oops. A year ago, I was getting a handful of the various Ultraman and Kamen Rider shows on DVD. I am a fan of the tokusatsu genre, though as much as a curiosity as an outright fanaticism, and those two are my favorite meta-series (each has numerous unrelated-but-by-theme sub shows). Ultraman, somewhat uniquely for the entire tokusatsu genre, has had a few series released on American DVD without significant altering (most, like the Super Sentai shows that became Power Rangers upon transformation, are reshot and edited with American actors and some new CG to the fight scenes). Ultraman Tiga came out in a four volume set a couple of years back, and then proceeded to fade out of existence. I had access to the first three DVDs, but the fourth was just *poof*, except for one copy on that sold for a bit. Not a super-huge bit, nothing like three digits, but enough of a bit that it was about twice as expensive as the other three combined. I put off ordering it, even though I had the other three, because I did not want to spend so much for it. After a week or two, I broke down and got it. Ebay and such searches had failed to turn up any other copies that weren't usually more expensive.

Tonight, while doing an unrelated search, I found copies on, and multiple copies by several sellers, easily 1/6th what I paid for it. Sure, by what I can tell, it took several months before these showed up, but I still feel like I could have just waited an blah blah blah. To sum up, I am not that upset, and have been on the flipside of that before (one book I recently bought new but on sale has went up in value by over $100 from what I paid for it, and my Wizardy CDRom is occasionally worth more than $200 even though I got it clearance). It is just, you know, poopies. It never feels good to buy something and then find a cheaper version, a significantly cheaper version, show up before you even had time to enjoy it. It is like the time I took the last Plumb album in a store, and my friend wanted a copy but I was latched on. He then ended up going into another nearby store, and getting it for half the price I did because it was on sale. Again, poopies.

Seven minutes go, I am finishing up. Of course, it is about to 1am again as Daylight Savings Time ends, but I'm sticking to a promise since trying to stay up any later will probably result in me being facedown on my forehead continuously pressing the center keys until the loud beeping occurs and let's me know that I am being a bit too repetitious.


BY WEEK: 2010, Week 44
BY MONTH: November 2010

Written by Doug Bolden

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