Tag Archives: American Forces Network

Damn you jailbroke Apple TV: I have few morals, I have fewer morals now

Broken iPhone 4

Turns out this is not what jailbroke means (Photo credit: DaveOnFlickr)

One of the joys of being in Europe, besides all the castles and shit, was the military-run American Forces Network.   AFN offers troops overseas American television.

Everyone likes to make fun of AFN commercials because they suck. But I find  AFN’s programming hysterical. It’s a collection of the “most popular” shows on television in the U.S, and if you’ve been paying attention, you’ve noted that most of the popular TV sucks. The fact that it all sucks was never truer than right now. It’s all Survivor, American Idol and Two and a Half Men (Two and a Half Men makes my skin crawl, not that anyone asked. – Editor).  Sure AFN has its moments, but those moments only come on Sunday afternoon when the news talk shows air, or in the early morning when I’m getting a look at yesterday’s evening news cast (made completely irrelevant by the internet).

But AFN’s one redeeming quality was that is distracted my wife. It allure was so strong it could draw her fine ass onto the couch (and out of my face) because, “Oh my God, The Voice is about to come on!”

When that happened I wasn’t required participate in anyting. Not a damned thing! She would watch, “shit TV for $400, Alex,” and I was free to do whatever I wanted.

I used this time of course to earn my first of many master’s degrees in “fuckoffery.” I achieved like level 40 million in “World of Wardork”, surfed every porn site that has ever existed, and started this blog.

Time well spent, in other words.

All that was only achievable because AFN aired everything I had no desire to watch. I would not be watching any of it with my wife and she knew it. Hell, I think AFN knew it – or should have because I sent them weekly emails thanking them for their fine lineup.

There are television shows on the planet I will watch, but they just aren’t on AFN. (Every time I return to the U.S., that harlot, “On Demand,” calls to me like the filthy vixen she is. Nazi Germany’s Lost Treasures, is on? Sign me up! Nova’s latest special about planets?  Let’s watch that!) I can be a TV junkie, I just don’t want to be, and here in Europe it used to be very easy to just say no.

This “agreement” between the wife and I was rock solid for 10 years. That’s like a decade or something.

I now consider that the “Golden Age” of our TV relationship.

Because along came an evil, vile, disgusting device by Apple known as Apple TV. I know, I know — all Apple products are fucking vile — but Apple TV is a special kind of hell. It has tons of shows on it that my wife knows I’ll watch. All she has to do is buy them and bam, my ass is on the couch with her. That damned TV was preventing me from doing really awesome things like internet-boobie surfing, and turned me into a banana slug on the couch. There is no way out. I’m screwed.

And then, Apple TV and its seemingly endless programs revealed its silver lining — it costs money.

You see, for years I’ve been grilled about my unapproved purchases (because those fucking things show up on the goddamn secret-spilling credit card statement).

Shortly after Apple TV’s introduction into the house, and after hours of balls-to-the-wall marathon TV viewing, the bill came in. The wife was mortified.

This was a gift of immeasurable worth.

Potato Head - Couch Potato : )

Potato Head – Couch Potato : ) (Photo credit: oddsock)

That little detail meant I would only occasionally be sucked onto the couch. AND, if she was willy nilly spending our cash on TV programs, then what leg did she have to stand on when an unapproved .99 cent purchase of “California Gurls” showed up on the credit card statement? IT WAS BEAUTIFUL!.

Until some fucker at her office got a bright idea and told her about jailbreaking.

I’m sure some greasy co-worker, wearing only a trench coat, approached her in the parking lot as she left one evening.

“Psst! Hey you want free TV? I can get you free TV. It’s good too. Don’t worry you won’t get addicted. Just try it. It’s OK. It’s not stealing because we’re in Germany.  Just try it…  Take a gander at my willy.”

When she told me about it, my heart sank. I was back to being screwed.

And then I had a brilliant idea. We all know I’m basically a piece of shit. I swill beer, make shitty jokes about women, smoke like a fiend and have the kind of morals a real-life pirate would question. But when I take a stand on an issue, I pretend it’s something I really believe in. One of those issues is piracy. (No, I don’t mean the pirates two sentences back, I mean stealing intellectual property on the internet – but real pirates are also bad.)

When the suggestion that we get a jailbroken Apple TV was made we had friends  over, so what better time to get out the moral soap box, right?

Break out the soap box I did.

“Piracy is bad because blah, and artists deserve blah, blah and further NPR has said blah and then there is blah!” I ranted like only a drunken, albeit morally corrupt drunk, can.

I went on an antipiracy tirade that would have made Madonna and Metallica weep tears of joy.  Our guests had befuddled looks on their faces that said, “This is what you hang your moral hat on? You told me personally that you’d kick a puppy for $20.”

Yet, take a stand I did, until my shitty morals were kicked in the nuts by a jailbroke Apple TV and I crumpled like a 3-year old presented with candy.

One of my wife’s criminal cock-blocking co-workers, between flashing his weiner and robbing little-old ladies, loaned her a jailbroke Apple TV for a week.

I haven’t seen a fucking Apple TV bill at all this week. I have seen “The Hobbit” (a clearly pirated copy I might add) and mostly my wife has shut the fuck up.

So besides folding on my bendy-straw flimsy, moral high ground, I’ve lost something else. I’ve lost the ability to say, “No this program on TV doesn’t interest me at all, honey, please enjoy it while I surf the breasts, er ‘net.”

Because everything in the universe is on this device, she’s guaranteed to find something that will make me go, “Yes! Yes I DO want to watch that with you. Cue that shit up honey, I’ll get the popcorn,” and I’m not very happy about it.

I should write something for the blog but, “HOLY FUCK EVERY EPISODE OF TOP GEAR IS HERE RIGHT NOW” or, as it actually happened this weekend, “Todd, do you want to watch The Hobbit?”

Yes, yes I do. More than I want to do anything else ever in my life, honey!

If I’m not back in a few days someone, someone PLEASE call the police because even if a jailbroke Apple TV is not illegal I need Frodo Baggins to take ours and toss that shit into Mount Doom.

I’d write more, but fuck, there’s a lot of TV to watch.

Ah Sunday, relaxing Sund … A lesson in reading your spouses insane side.

Are you the early riser in your house?  If so you and I have something in common.

Go us!

You and I look forward to the few peaceful moments that come with getting out of bed early and enjoy the  precious few quiet moments we have in alone in the house.   If you watch TV in the morning you’re careful to monitor the volume.  You might even be selective about which lights you turn on in order to not disturb the other sleeping people in the house.

You’re, like I, am trying to milk every precious second out of the serene, tranquil morning that you can.*

I like to turn the coffee pot on, tip-toe into the living room and, because I live in Europe and get the American Forces Network on my TV, watch yesterday’s evening news – this morning, while surfing on the iPad.

Weekdays I get a half an hour tops.

But on weekends I typically get a lot more.   So much so that I might even, don’t tell the wife, take a quick 15 to 30 minute nap.   Because life in the 40’s is just that fucking exciting!  Don’t tell the kids …

Then two hours later she wakes up and berates me, while wiping the sleep from her eyes, for not having done ‘anything’ for the past few hours.

Read that last bit again, I’ll wait.

I, fool that I am, thought this Sunday would be like all the others.   True my suspicions should have been ‘hyper-level 10 million level’ when she not only woke up at the same time I did but literally ‘feet hit the floor’ before mine.

Still though no cause to worry, right?

I drifted down stairs to find her brewing tea and the coffee pot already on.

Full-disclosure, though I am awake earlier it does not mean I am in any way capable of making a decision more important than, “should I scratch my crotch or not” for at least 4 cups of coffee and/or 30 minutes.

But not Dagmar, oh no, not her.

She can go from dead asleep to let’s go run a marathon.  Literally, let’s go run, put your stuff on, screw it lets just run in our pajamas, come on let’s go, let’s go!

Her, and you people that are like her, scare me deep, deep inside.   I cannot understand you and I’d be sympathetic if I wasn’t so full of rage toward you.    Slow the fuck down Sparky, we got the whole day ahead of us.

Normally after this many years my morning ritual, when she sees it, is

Well who needs coffee now?

My mornings are … wait huh. Okay I had a point when I start … boobies. Photo shamelessly ripped from Newscorpse.com

respected.   I’m afforded an opportunity to drink coffee, blow my nose, scratch my crotch and make sneering gestures at Fox news anchor Sheppard Smith (an unfortunate consequence of AFN is that during the 6 to 7 a.m. time period it’s him or Piers Morgan – even in my foggy state I pick Sheppard over Piers because Piers just sucks. Plus side note, I predict it’s only a matter of time before Sheppard is caught having dude-on-dude sex somewhere embarrassing, like Florida.  Side note to the side note if you Google “fox news anchor” and select images (if you’re a guy) you’ll thank me … hello ladies!).

And that’s how I overcame my addiction to methamphetamines using nothing but a case of motor oil and a stick of butter.

See what I did there?  I used a joke about getting off track to refer back to the getting off track so we could get back on track.   I’m a geniou … maybe I should just get back on track?

So there I am on the couch yesterday morning, hot and first cup of coffee in hand and there Dagmar is with her cup of tea (when did you become British for the love of God?).  Typical morning really only she’s up of her own volition and the sun isn’t – which tells me something is afoot.

Then it happens, then the statement is made and it is matched by action.   Slamming the footrest back into the sofa without regard to ‘quiet time’ rules at all she jumped to her feet.  Her eyes were wild and her muscles seemed, at least would have seemed, were I awake, to swell.

She became Hulk-Dagmar and there would be action this Sunday morning, quiet time and coffee be damned!

It got much worse as the day went on but I couldn’t take any photos because I was holding televisions up, or something

There. Would.  Be. Action.

I think she was also wearing a green t-shirt which likely led to the hulk analogy, also I was almost asleep.

There are certain ‘thoughts’ expressed in this house that are vocalized but never really acted upon.   For instance in all our years of marriage we have never ate ‘rice and beans’ the entire month even though I’ve been told she’ll do it, she totally can do it, and if I don’t watch out, we will do it.

Hint:  She won’t but it’s fun to hear.

That’s an example of a threat that, made during a ‘discussion about money’, will never happen.  I think it’s called a Paper-Dagmar Argument or something.   I should have paid a lot more attention in class.

Then there are the others.  They’re not threats, they’re warnings.   Things we’re going to do this weekend.  “We’re going to go hike up to the castle”, “we’re going to go to Ikea”, “we’re going to clean the house to within an inch of its life” and “we’re going to go to the blah, blah, blah.”

Any husband reading this understands that probability factors in to each of these ‘statements.’   Yeah maybe we’re going to the event this weekend but you dear wife might, you might blank-percent might, change your mind.   Most of us agree (at the time) that the plan is a good one and start influencing however we can the odds back into our favor.

Our ‘favor’ is code for those of you that are interested for, ‘staying at home, drinking beer and maybe having a fire.’

It’s in the married guy’s bible, chapter II paragraph 4.5.  Look it up.

The one that scares the shit out of me though is the cleaning one.  I can’t predict it, I’m helpless when the cleaning beast rips out of her chest ala Aliens and I know it’s going to hurt me.    The cleaning one is brought up a lot but it’s usually just a light, once over the house, nothing heavy.  But once in a while I find myself moving furniture out of a room and fear for the cat’s life.

So yeah it was the cleaning one.

This is the woman that makes me lift the TV up so she can dust UNDER it.  This request is made and granted during ‘normal weekend’ cleaning.

Can you guess what deep-cleaning consists of?

She once vacuumed a large area rug then turned it upside down and vacuumed the bottom of the rug because German-Puerto Rican people are inside.

This woman once cleaned out and reorganized my toolbox because she wanted me to start a blog or because she’s just that nuts.  You pick.

Truth be known, between moving furniture and polishing the undersides of things I was allowed to listen to podcasts and at about 1 p.m. or so was authorized beer.  The warden has a heart.

To anyone, and yeah I’m looking at you, that says, “You’re the man of the house you do what you want” well I guess your situation is different than mine.   Maybe your dynamic isn’t the same as mine.   To me when she really, really fuck really, wants to do it I’m not going to stop her and I’m going to be a dick if I don’t participate.

Besides I’m too busy holding up the TV so it can be dusted under to really argue and have you MET Dagmar?

*  I have no idea how this works with kids.  I just assume they wake up, poop on themselves, set the pets on fire, eat sugar and yell.    I’m not far off am I?  I forgot only barfing right?  Oh and the cartoons.  Never forget the cartoons.

Beer on an empty stomach with Maggie and Alex

Spent three days with Maggie and Alex. Maggie and Alex came to visit, obviously. Drunken shenanigans followed.

I picked Maggie up from the airport at 10:40 a.m. Thursday. We arrived at our house at almost 10:30 p.m.

No caption other than, hot works here. Thus, just hot. Until …

2240 9 Feb 2012 until 1330 10 Feb 2012 Maggie and I: discuss fashion, giggle a lot, talk about work, cry and discuss fashion. Maggie makes me gay.*

(Maggie’s description of what happened after she took her boots off at our house.)

Maggie: Do you mind if I take my boots off?

Todd: No problem, go ahead. Hey, did I say I really like those boots?

Maggie: Yeah, they’re cool but after having them on all day and all night through the airport. My feet hurt. (Boots come off)

Todd: Hey, what the hell is on your feet?

Maggie: Socks.

She is the reason we should be able to keep our shoes on at the airport.

Women. Look at the before photo. That’s a very cute, sexy look. Nice looking boots, hot skirt, black tights. You’d think that once the boots came off you’ve find seductive looking foot with red (or whatever) toenails … no, this is the abortion she has on under those boots.

Friday

Three hundred dollars of sure to be AWESOME!!!

1331: Alex show’s up. I rediscover I’m a man when he shows me the coolest remote controlled helicopter ever, it only cost $300. I order it because I’ve had five beers on an empty stomach and I really like helicopters. I hesitate about getting a robot room sweeper … why I don’t know.

As people like Maggie, Alex, that woman who lives in this house with me and Gina know, when I’m sober I’m highly gullible to suggestions that if I do/get/buy something I’ll be cool. Gina once in Iraq convinced me to buy a CD from a band that I had never heard of because she said it was cool. I’m an idiot, I bought it. This is sober. Drunk, any hint at all is enough to send me over the edge. None of that matters though because now, sober I fully realize this thing will rock (video link).

Alex: There is an iPad app that will let you record the video that the helicopter takes…. Might come in handy….Just saying…

1335: I’m convinced, after the 10th beer on an empty stomach, that I should call my office and propose my idea for a toy helicopter American Forces Network commercial shoot that involves our office staff meeting. Maggie talks me down from this, but encourages the purchase of five toy remote control helicopters for later use. Thankfully I’ve forgotten my Amazon password (the one that I had used 15 minutes ago) and/or lose interest quickly

1445: Alex uses the term “mangina,” which makes me laugh…

Alex (reading the above): I also use the term, “Man-Dang-Go” which I feel is funnier. Also, I like to say, “Laba-Daba-Doo” a lot when referring to female genitalia….

We go buy food. We wanted to get Donar Kebabs, but the local restaurant is out of business, so we go to a grocery story. We buy a crap ton of food (wine) and return home.

Food is eaten. It’s suggested I put on season one of Chappel show. Maggie falls asleep and Alex and I laugh about the reparations skit because the phrase “tri-state area” when used in reference to a man’s ass, is funny.

Dagmar calls that she’s working late and get home until after 1900. I wonder what she’ll walk in on (me wearing the Simpsonsunderwear she bought me and nothing else,  if there is a god).
No man can fart more than Alex. Dagmar is no man though … she might be a contender. Seriously though, the amount of gas that man produced was at first humorous and then quickly became something I felt the scientific community should study. I’m convinced he could have powered a small city, if only science could harness his gas.

Alex:  Dude… The gas can be traced back to having about 12 dunkleweisens over the past two days… And I think eating stir-fry cabbage at the DFC yesterday….

1815: Everyone, including me, is into their own IGNOREEVERYTHINGELSE device.

Alex: Todd begins speaking “Toddlese…” We are all perplexed as he’s only had two beers, (that we can verify)…

1955: With no context whatsoever Alex yells out “Poontang safari gone wrong.” (Edit my memory, because of the 143 beers I drank to this point is a bit off, Alex yells this after leaving a Thai restaurant mentioned later in this blog, because the owner is German and married a Thai lady … his version is MUCH, MUCH funnier.)

2005:  Dagmar arrives home. I am fully dressed and my Simpsons boxers are upstairs in the closet still. There obviously is no god or he/she/it doesn’t find Simpsons boxers as funny as I do. Dagmar begins berating me, loudly in front of my friends, for choosing crappy beer, not good dark stuff like her and Alex like.   Then they proceed to kill (over the weekend I mean) the case of crappy beer I bought.

Alex: “Poop Talk with Dagmar” commences…

For reasons that baffle both Maggie and I, when Dagmar and Alex are “reunited” they immediately start to discuss umm, well — pooping.  I’m afraid to explore their desire to discuss this topic … “afraid for my eternal soul” afraid. He also asks Dagmar to “pump his legs” which somehow encourages more gas. Open flames are banned from the living room for 24 hours.

Alex: Due to gasousness… I wear paper underwear… One-time use only….

2030: We are informed by Maggie that we are going to get Thai food. I’m not hungry, but realize I can drink beer there so why not.

2130: Maggie has finally herded us into the car, but not before I hand Alex a handful of plastic army men and dinosaurs with the instructions to “put these in your pocket” … he doesn’t argue or even ask why. He knows that I am an idiot. Beer has made me invincible to logic or maturity.

Drunk, I am immune to grown up logic

2140: I pull out my army guys and dinosaurs; no one is impressed but me. I stage fake army guy vs. dinosaur battles while quizzing people who don’t care if I should, blog it?

Dagmar foolishly thinks plastic army men are toys. They DO have feelings Dagmar. They’re clearly fleeing in reaction to your mean gesture.

2145: Dagmar correctly refers to me as an idiot. I eat some chicken fried rice and drink beers.

2155: I go outside to have a cigarette and decide I’m going to steal one of the wooden, 3-fo0t tall oriental man statutes that decorate the windows of the restaurant. I’m literally laughing out loud to myself in the frozen tundra that is Germany at how funny it will be when I get it home. I think I have “blogish” plans for it. I can’t wait to tell Maggie.

2136: I tell Maggie about my plan.

2150: Maggie stops telling me I’m an idiot and that I am certainly NOT stealing a 3-foot tall oriental statute, even though I thought for sure I was going to.

2151: We leave.  I don’t have a 3-foot tall oriental statute.

Saturday morning I’m forced, with an epic hangover mind you, to venture out into the very cold outside for a death march through the vineyards. When I’m elected king of everything any walking outside that doesn’t involve beer in 70 degree or higher temperatures will be banned.

* Truth of the matter is Maggie and Alex have been friends of ours since 2002, she and I just stayed up, catching up.