So my wife and I were watching this show on Discovery earlier tonite, "How It's Made," I think it's called. Have you seen this? I love it. Like some of the similar shows I've seen on FoodTV or History Channel, I'm drawn in by any chance to see factory machinery in action. I mean, the proverbial cardboard box factory is standard metaphor for boredom, but I'm riveted. Every Tuesday evening (Wed morning is garbage and recycle pick up day in my hood) I'm impressed with the level at which the corrugation engineers are able to frustrate me as I fumble my way through reversing their efforts. But boxes were on tonite's show. That was just an example.

But they coulda have been the subject. That's one of the draws of the show. You're shown how three things are made, but the three things are so randomly chosen it's almost like the makers are trying their hardest to choose the three most unrelated items they can. Tonight I learned how they made Hot Water Heaters, Jellybeans, and Zambonis. Awesome.

There are another few strange things that separate this show from other, similar ones. First, rarely ever seen are any artisans or machine operators. And if they are necessary, you'll probably only see thier hands. They certainly don't get to talk. The emphasis is on the process, and the factory equipment, not necessarily the skilled craftsmen or designers that have dedicated their lifetimes to making Zambonis, or wooden canoes, or cardboard boxes.

Next, there's the mildly disinterested announcer. The processes are all described by a voice both disembodied and unaffected. He describes each process, each product like he invented it. He's really flirting the line between condescending and smug. -What do you mean you didn't know it took two and a quarter days to make a jellybean?

Lastly, what's with the porn music?

Anyhoo, we'll see you on the Goat Trail tomorrow. I think I'm ready to be back in the saddle after a short bout with the flu earlier this week. And I think Crash is getting lonely out there alone.

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