Lockdown: Tsum Tsum dumdum

I’ve missed out on a lot of major-network broadcast TV since I went to over-the-air digital. I purchased an antenna to receive the digital signals, and it helped, but it still left me with just the local Fox and ABC affiliates, plus the local PBS station and a ton of other stuff you wouldn’t guess is out there. And lately I haven’t been getting Fox.

It’s been a pain, since football is on Fox, NBC, CBS, and ESPN.

I thought my antenna just wasn’t good enough, so I looked on Amazon for other options, then did a little web search to see if people out there had reviewed a bunch of the stuff. And of course there are a lot of articles out there. You kind of have to be cautious about review articles for tech stuff, since there are a lot of fake websites in existence just to steer you to specific products, disguised as neutral review sites.

Consumer Reports did a rundown, but I don’t subscribe, so I couldn’t see what it recommended. However, it had a publicly available article about getting the most from your digital over-the-air antenna, and geez. The stuff I don’t know.

The FCC has a map of DTV antenna locations. You put in your zip code and select the local broadcaster whose signal you want to receive, and it shows you on the map where the antenna is. You can set the location pin right at your address and it tells you the bearing you can point your antenna to so it’s looking right at the tower.

I had it pointed roughly in the direction of downtown Honolulu, thinking most of the towers were there. Most of them are, and only a few miles away, which is why I got them okay. The KHON (NBC affiliate) tower, however, is on a mountain above Nanakuli, completely in the opposite direction and sixteen miles away. The FCC website says where I am the signal should be strong, though. So I moved my antenna six feet away from where it was and swung it around so it was facing west instead of east, and *bing*. The late afternoon football game, loud and crystal clear.

Part of me wants to scream at myself, because I had all this good TV at my disposal and didn’t even know. Part of me is like, cool. Digital over-the-air is great — it’s indistinguishable in quality from cable or broadband, as far as I can see. Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth have never looked more beautiful than on my own TV at home.

And because I’m only a couple of miles from the towers in town, the antenna being pointed in the opposite direction isn’t a problem at all for the other stations.

I watched the early game on CBS, the Patriots and Dolphins. I thought it was a good game, but apparently a lot of people disagree. Then I messed around because the early afternoon game was on Fox and I didn’t figure out the antenna thing until an hour into the late afternoon game. Man, I can’t wait until next Sunday just so I can veg and watch the stupid games because I can.

I also watched episode eight of season two of Halt and Catch Fire. It’s seriously kind of a drag right now, which make sense. It’s a ten-episode season, so this is a good place for things to be nearly as bad as they’re going to get.

I played a ridiculous amount of Tsum Tsum, then got to work on that space in my laundry room. It was hot, sweaty, dirty work, but I got it cleared out and cleaned out, and I was able to move some of the newly-packed storage tubs in there, opening up living space where I hadn’t had any for some time. It’s a huge relief, and it’s a milemarker in this Herculean task of decluttering my space. It’s also going to be where I put my newly empty storage tubs. It pleases me enormously that there are more newly-empty than newy-filled.

Breakfast was my unnamed noodle soup thing, which I know I still haven’t explained in this space. Such a good breakfast. It’s mostly veggies, too. For lunch, I took a little inspiration from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt and my friend Jennifer and made a little pizza on a tortilla. I crisped it up in a grill pan, then added some spaghetti sauce, white cheddar, and sliced Portuguese sausage. It was good. Jennifer puts hers in the oven and the tortilla puffs up. It wanted to puff up on the grill pan too, but I cut a few holes in it to keep it crackery.

I kind of thought I would skip dinner, but all that cleaning took a lot out of me, so I had a couple of burritos. In between somewhere I finished off the blondies.

Ali texted me super early with a link to a cute IG post about how to drive a book-lover crazy. Kathy got back to me after hearing the New Order song saying they still sound great. Sharon asked me for a coworker’s chocolate mochi recipe, which I was able to find in my work emails. Not a super busy day with texting, but Sundays seldom are.

It’s nearly midway through September. Six months since this lockdown began, with no end in sight. I’m utterly opposed to social gatherings such as we’re seeing on the news, and I have no words for the people protesting the local governments’ attempts to keep us from spreading the virus. But I get it. It’s been a long six months. Nobody wants to keep this up. It’s easy to feel like life is passing us by and we’re missing out on time with others.

But you know. People keep dying from this thing, and if we can do something to prevent the death, we should. I’m here for it. So if you’re reading this and you need some extra connectivity, believe me: I dig it. Reach out in comments and we can talk each other through it.

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