I was listening to the radio this morning and the question of the day was ‘how many televisions do you have?’ Now, as you know, the wife and I recently purchased an absurdly decadent, plasma high-definition television. But, at the same time, we got rid of our 27-inch RCA, and the venerable Sony 13-inch that got me through grad school, and which had been packed away in storage for years.

So, we have one (1) functioning television, albeit a ridiculous one. We tried putting a tv in our bedroom many years ago, and a) promptly stopped having sex and b) had to get by on approximately 5 hours of sleep a night. We will never do that again. The idea of putting a television in one of our kid’s bedrooms is laughable. I have no doubt our daughter would set an alarm so she could get up at 3 am to watch infomercials. The only place I would even consider putting a second tv is the kitchen, maybe, and thus far the wife has vetoed that idea.

However the folks on the morning show seemed to have televisions in every room of the house. One of the radio personalities had eight televisions, and one of the others had thirteen. THIRTEEN functioning televisions in the house. And the people that called in were right in line with this. The pattern seemed to be having one in the living room, one in the family room, one in each bedroom, and one in the shop/rec room.

I find this really disturbing.

By the way, the apocalypse is apparently upon us. A frigid mass of arctic air is oozing towards Portland. “The unusual weather system could send temperatures into the teens in the Portland area overnight Thursday and Friday. Temperatures in outlying and rural areas should be even lower.”

And then there’s the wind: “Wind gusts as strong as 45 mph could rake the Portland/Vancouver area, sending wind chill temperatures into negative territory as the arctic air tightens its grip on the region.”

The news channels are all putting up checklists on how to survive the crisis. Covering the vents to your crawlspace, letting your faucets trickle, covering your outside taps, etc. etc. Having survived for a number of years in central Illinois, it’s a little bit humorous, even though I have lost a good deal of my tolerance. The people around here just don’t see that kind of weather very often, though, and they really don’t know how to deal with it. Hell, I gave away my Air Force-surplus parka after I returned from Illinois, when I realized I’d been back for five years, and hadn’t worn it once. It never got cold enough to wear it comfortably.

So, it should be an interesting couple of days.