Thursday, November 19, 2009

What is in that box?

We are staying at the Hampton Inn in New Orleans. It's about 3 blocks from the conferences and about a block from Bourbon Street. As many of you know, I judge a hotel on two things: the exercise room and the breakfast they offer. Well, this hotel has an adequate exercise room: two treadmills, two ellipticals, and one stationary recumbent bicycle; it also has free weights, if you're into that kind of thing.

The breakfast is sorta ok. The eggs are powdered, the potatoes are reconstituted—fairly typical hotel fair. They do have fresh fruit, bagels, yogurt, juice, etc. So, you can get a decent breakfast; it's just that the hot part is disgusting :(

But, that is all an aside from the point of this post. For the last two mornings, as is my wont, I went up to the exercise room at about 6:00 AM for my morning 1/2 hour of cycling. Both mornings, there was another gentleman there before me. Yesterday he was finishing up his run on the treadmill, after which he went over to the weight machine. Only, he didn't do anything except sit there with his eyes glued to a box that was elevated about 6 feet off the floor. He sat that way, as if transfixed, for about 20 minutes, occasionally lifting a few weights. Then, he suddenly got up, as if released from a trance, and left the room.

This morning, he was already done with the treadmill and was sitting by the weight machine already. Again, he was sitting, as if spellbound, looking at that same box, elevated about 6 feet above the ground. And, just like yesterday, after about 20 minutes he suddenly got up and left the room.

This box has noise coming out of it, and characters that look like people moving around on it. I think some people call it a television. So, what is in that box that kept him so mesmerized?

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