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Missing the Internet and Other Weekend Issues

By RD Heldenfels Published: June 19, 2006

A couple of friends lately have mentioned trying to go without TV for an extended period -- with some exceptions. (One borrowed a review DVD of a show airing during the no-TV period, so it could be watched before video abstinence kicked in.) I have had my own brand of denial for the last day or so, and it isn't fun.


The study in the House of Heldenfels is getting a makeover -- new paint on the walls, and new carpet arriving today. I've been working around the painting by clearing out the bookshelves but keeping the computer up and running. Yesterday, the walls by the desk had to be reached, so the computer had to be disconnected, and we spent the rest of the day offline.


Of course, there were plenty of things to do without the computer. We had a nice Father's Day dinner out. (Beef, mmmm.) The bride was busy with painting. I was stamping envelopes for the newsletter for the arts boosters at younger son's school, as well as stuffing envelopes (with help from younger son). And I had the TV for company during that time -- flipping between a cable replay of ''Batman Begins'' and the Indians game.


You can figure out which was more enjoyable. ''Batman Begins'' is slow in spots, but the Indians were torturous. Even at the end, when losing seemed inevitable, the Indians made it worse; why lose by just one run, after all, when you can give up a walk-off homer and lose by three?


Anyway, the envelopes were stuffed. But, as is often the case, while watching TV I had the urge to look things up -- which, most of the time, means going online. Also, I like it there.


Today, Beacon Journal movie critic George Thomas and I were discussing ''W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings'' -- a movie he has never seen, and therefore fails to appreciate as fully as I did when I saw it in a theater during the Southern portion of my life. Because of that chat, I did a Google search that among other things pointed me to  www.varaces.com, the Movie Car Chase Database. Imagine, a place where you can read about ''The Da Vinci Code'' in terms of its car chases! Is nothing too specialized?


Anyway, I couldn't do that yesterday. Or this morning, when my ritual includes checking e-mail and browsing some favorite sites. I had to wait until I was at the office to check out the latest info on   www.poynter.org/romenesko, let alone www.hollywoodrag.com. It wasn't quite as bad as doing without TV, but it sure reminded me how addicted I am to high-speed information. And, OK, unflattering pictures of celebrities.

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