We’re only a few short days from the Tour de France. To commemorate this exciting upcoming event, I have sampled every performance-enhancing drug known to man.

Wait. That’s not true. I’ve put that behind me.

Let me begin again.

What I meant to say is that to get ready for the Tour de France, I have purchased a gadget of such extraordinary geekitude that taped black-rimmed glasses have spontaneously appeared on my nose. At an awkward angle.

Also, my voice has started cracking again.

What can this superlatively geeky thing be? And how can a geeky gadget enhance one’s Tour de France experience? These are the questions you have, and I will answer them. Just as soon as I adjust these glasses a little further on my nose, and pull my pants up to a painfully high position.

There. Now I’m ready.

I bought myself a Slingbox.


What’s a Slingbox?

Two of you immediately understood what I’m doing. The rest of you are rapidly losing interest and hoping that I’ll get to the point, or at least explain what a Slingbox is.


A Slingbox is a clever little device that you route your home TV signal through, as well as connect to your home broadband Internet connection. Then, after installing the corresponding software on any computer, anywhere (as long as it’s got a high-speed internet connection), you can make the Slingbox stream whatever TV channel—or whatever’s on the TiVo (if you don’t know what a TiVo is, that’s your own problem. Look it up on the Wikipedia. Oh, you don’t know what the Wikipedia is? Forget it. Just forget it.) onto your computer.

Which means, dear reader, that I am now set up to watch the Tour de France on my computer during my lunch break. Or other break. Or when I just can’t wait a single second longer.

I shall now chortle. And adjust my pants a little higher. Eep!


The Problem

There’s just one problem, now that I’ve got the Slingbox working (and believe me, it was not a pleasant experience to get the Slingbox to work outside my home firewall, which is evidently very labyrinthine and stymied even the Slingbox customer support people for a little while).

It shows whatever channel is currently on the home TV. Now, that’s not a problem if nobody’s home, or if the TV’s off. But if the twins are watching Dora the Explorer, well, that’s what’s on the Slingbox, too. Of course, I have the capability of changing the channel. But they have the capability of changing it back. And thus ensues a war of channel changing, in spite of the fact that my twins and I are not even in the same county.


The Solution

The twins, however, can be bribed. It turns out, in fact, they can be bribed rather cheaply. A colored pencil does the job nicely. As does a popsicle. As does practically anything that costs less than a dollar.

We’ll be knee-deep in cheap toys and popsicle sticks by mid-July. But it’s worth it. I’ve got a tour to watch. On my computer. At work.

I shall conclude today’s blog by giggling nasally, punctuated occasionally with a grating snort.

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