Joe Ganley

I make software and sometimes other things.

 

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leaf blowerA while ago an idea for a TV ad popped into my head. It was so vivid that I feel like it must be a real ad that I just don't remember having seen, but I can find no evidence that is true.

The ad opens with a wife leaving the house and telling her husband to remember that he is supposed to clean the house while she is gone. Then a montage of him goofing off. Finally he gets up, goes to the garage and gets a leaf blower, and proceeds to clean the house with it, just blowing everything loose into a pile, out the door, and into the trash. Maybe the wife comes home and thanks him for doing such a great job.

It sounds like an ad for Home Depot.

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The A-TeamWhen I was a kid - and yes, I feel like a total geezer when I start sentences that way - there were a lot of shows on prime-time TV that were ostensibly adult shows, but that were wholesome enough for even fairly young children to watch. I'm thinking of The A-Team, The Dukes of Hazzard, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Salvage One, Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, and so forth. Not exactly the highest-quality television, but shows that the entire family could watch together. Today, we like to let our 12-year-old watch TV with us after the two younger girls to go bed, but there is almost nothing on network TV at even 8:00pm that we will let her watch. We watch a lot of Discovery (particularly Mythbusters) and TLC. Those are great, and surely more educational than those shows I watched when I was a kid, but it would be nice if there was some fiction on TV that was suitable for young people as well as adults. I'm surprised this void exists, and I wonder how other parents fill it. Do they watch the same educational programming we do? Do they not let their kids watch network TV at all? Or are they letting their kids watch the shows that I find unsuitable, and if so, are they being too permissive or am I being too restrictive?

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My wife called me into the room the other day because the Numb3rs episode that she was watching had mentioned Steiner trees (the principal subject of my Ph.D. dissertation). As usual for that show, they got the math half wrong and half ornamented with extraneous jargon, but still it was a tiny thrill to see Steiner trees mentioned on TV.

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