Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Death by Lava Lamp

Briefly --" Lava lamp explodes, killing man with flying glass KENT, Wash. -- A man who placed a lava lamp on a hot stovetop was killed when it exploded and sent a shard of glass into his heart, police said. Philip Quinn, 24, was found dead in his trailer home Sunday night by his parents. After the lamp exploded, Quinn apparently stumbled into his bedroom, where he died Sunday afternoon, authorities said." Just one of those odd deaths that make ya go "hmmmm". I sometimes think of the best and worst ways to "go". I never imagined that one. Never, not once.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Nielsen Ratings.

Recently, I was contacted by letter that stated a Nielsen ratings or Nielsen Media representative would be calling me about participating in a special Nielsen family survey. Dandy. I threw the letter away. About three days later, I get a telephone call from Nielsen. The woman on the phone identifies herself and starts to tell me about the Nielsen survey. I interrupt her and indicate that I do NOT wish to participate. She was literally stunned. Almost as if I had told her I don't wish to accept an Academy Award. She says, "Have you heard of the Nielsen Ratings?" Yes, of course I have. "Don't you realize how important this is?" Uhhh. It's television -- not a life or death issue in my world. I inform her that I wish to be removed from their call list (I tell all telemarketers the same...). She still wouldn't let it go, so I had no other option than to just hang up. That's that, I thought. I'm free from being part of the media machine! Well, that wasn't it. About three days later, I get another phone call from Nielsen. This time a man was on the line. He started out in the same way that the first woman did. Excited to give me this "opportunity". (Blah, if it's such a great opportunity, they should be paying me a quarter million to participate as I watch actors getting paid 20 million an episode or an athlete making 10 million per game.) Again, I decline. Once again, I'm asked if I have heard of the Nielsen ratings. Again, I say, "Duh?" He then goes on to say, "I'm not trying to sell you anything." Well, buddy, actually you are. You're trying to sell me on the idea that television really matters. You're trying to sell me on the idea that doing work for your company is somehow helping out the world at large. You're trying to sell me on the idea that my one little vote counts. Hey, I live in a very conservative state - Utah - I know my political vote doesn't really count here, so don't try to convince me that watching HGTV's home improvement shows are going to change the world. Grrrr. I hung up on him.