“Help, my husband’s got a hobby!” is the name of a new reality TV show of Belgium’s biggest commercial broadcasting network. It’s about husbands who have a hobby that drives their spouses crazy. So the core item is the upset wive. Last week we had the TV set as wallpaper when I heard ‘CQ CQ DE ON4SLB’. Say what? Apparently the next eposide was about some ham radio operator making his wife’s life miserable. ON4SLB didn’t ring a bell but I remembered something else.
In March 2009 I received an email from someone working for a TV production company (mail still in my archives). It turns out to be the company that produces the show that airs now. The mail told me they were doing research for some new TV show involving people’s hobbies. They found me somewhere on the Internet. Having worked 5 years for the medium TV (10 if I count my student years), I was very suspicious. TV = fake. Reality TV = make fun of people’s shortcomings. And if ham radio is featured on Belgian TV, we always look like a bunch of pathetic nerds. Which maybe we are but still. OTOH: it’s not easy to make our hobby look ‘sexy’ of you don’t experience the thrill of it. But I don’t think they even try to make it look attractive. Anyhow…
I can’t recall what I replied the inquiring lady but I think I sent her a few links including one of our national association’s web site. So this is what they’re after with the ‘program about hobbies’. After this week’s episode, Belgian ham radio operators not only pollute the sky with their antennas and cause cancer and tumors with their dangerous RF signals, like we haven been doing since cell phone towers popped up and public opinion got indoctrinated by smoke signal protagonists. Oh wait, smoke signals are unhealthy too – but I digress.
After seeing this episode John Doe now sees amateur radio operators as people who collect tons of electronic waste cluttering up the whole house and furthermore neglect their families in favor of the shack. That’s what ON4SLB’s XYL held against him: too much old tube radios and other antique electronics in the attic, and not enough time with the family.
Fair enough: the OM got rid of many of his old electronics and agreed to spend less time in the shack and more time with his family. Problem solved, happy ending, end of episode. Manipulative behind-the-scenes production crew happy. The factor ‘ham radio’ turned out to be very light compared to the excessive radio collection, emphasizing on some unanswered daylight CQ on 20m, a ‘candit camera’ visit to the local club station and the OM’s local repeater addiction. Right after the end of the episode, my mom called. Yes mom I watched the show. Of course I don’t have that much stuff mom. No I don’t neglect your daughter-in-law mom 🙂
Had some fun in last weekend’s SAC CW test. Although the A index went from low to high Saturday overnight. I also played some radio during the week. I hope my XYL doesn’t enroll me in some reality TV program but with SFI = 150, I just need to be on the bands. I mostly played on 12m. I save 15 and 10 for the contests. I worked deep into the USA with nice QSO from W6/7. It was a bit tougher on 10m. But today I even worked a ZL1 there. I was thinking: “that must have been years ago; a ZL on Ten!”. The strange thing is: I looked it up and only worked 2 ZL’s on 10m before, and that was in last year’s (2010) ARRL 10m test. That means I didn’t even work a ZL back in 2001 with my 3L monobander for 28MHz. I’m stunned. That also means there is PLENTY of new stuff to be worked on the upper bands. Come on Sun, keep it up!