The Green Room


Monday morning cometh. You can almost set your Daytimer by it. I’ll get to items of real estate import soon enough, but what troubles me at the moment is technology. And lighting.

Greg Swann over at my home away from home, the Bloodhound Blog, is gearing up to debut Bloodhound TV. Being a sucker for a new way to overextend myself, and primarily motivated by the fear that I may miss out on something, I have agreed to participate. I am a little sketchy on exactly what it is I have signed up for, but that is characteristic of most of my undertakings.

This web TV thing, I am told, involves both audio and visual components. No more sitting at my computer looking like I am wearing a fright wig, at least not on purpose. No more nachos at the keyboard or using the home office for air drying the delicates. This is Show Biz!

Greg was kind enough (wise enough) to do a dry run with me last week. This TV thing is complicated. I dutifully purchased a webcam and wireless microphone, followed the manufacturers instructions, and Voila! Nothing worked! Well, that’s not entirely true. As we sat staring at our computer screens while chatting on our cell phones, Greg was able to walk me through the complex steps involved in initiating online communication – namely, turn on the webcam.

This is where things got exciting. I could see HIM and he could see ME! Unfortunately, while the soft lighting was quite flattering to a girl whose age can only be determined by carbon dating, it left one with the impression that I was broadcasting from a cave in Pakistan. I will have to work that out.

Then, there is whole “talking” thing. Apparently, there is a little button on the screen which one needs to not only click, but click and hold. So, now, I not only have to be concerned with angling my body to show my “good side” (the back of my head), but I have to talk and click buttons, and preferably (as Greg pointed out) at the same time. Phew.

If that is not enough, I finally got around to reading the product guide that came with my new Bloodhound TV-enabling devices. I am a little worried.

  • “Caution: Risk of explosion.” – It seems that if I replace the disposible battery with an incorrect type, things will blow up (namely, me). But, they don’t tell me what correct is. Duracell? Energizer? This could be a game of Russian Roulette.
  • “Caution: Risk of explosion.” – Not again! Rechargeable batteries apparently detonate too.
  • “Caution: Risk of hearing loss” – What? Something about high volumes when using the headset, but I suspect this only applies if you are simulaneously clicking and speaking. No real chance of that happening.
  • “Caution: Use of a keyboard or mouse may be linked to serious injuries or disorders.” – Oh, crap. I have both of those things.
  • “Caution: Before boarding any aircraft, remove the batteries (if they haven’t already exploded) and turn the device off. It has an on/off switch.” – Yeah, Greg told me about that switch.
  • “Caution: Do not allow children to chew on power cords.” – Microsoft obviously doesn’t have children.
  • “Caution: Failure to properly set up this device can increase the risk of serious injury or death.” – If a guy named Guido mysteriously shows up at your front door packing heat, you will know you screwed up.

And, finally:

  • “DO NOT IGNORE THESE WARNING SIGNS. PROMPTLY SEE A QUALIFIED HEALTH PROFESSIONAL EVEN IF SYMPTOMS OCCUR WHEN YOU ARE NOT WORKING AT YOUR COMPUTER.” – “Doctor, I was chewing on a power cord this afternoon and… No, I wasn’t anywhere near the computer, but now I have this pain in my neck…”

If I live to see my name in lights, it will be nothing short of a miracle.

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