When I left my desktop publishing position at Kinko’s the next job I took on was as a Systems Operator for a company called Teletrac. This company sold vehicle location devices for corporate fleet tracking and stolen vehicle recovery. We maintained a network of 23 IBM PCs running a mix of QNX, MS-DOS, Windows 95 and OS/2 and I worked the Midnight shift. Hairboy would join me a few months later. It was pretty damned boring most of the time because we sat around waiting for something to break. One thing we were allowed to do, though, was watch TV. Which sounds great until you realize that late-night/early morning television sucks, which it didn’t take us long to realize.
Thus it was that we grew to really appreciate PBS in general and This Old House in particular. Which is funny as hell when you consider that neither of us owned some much as a hammer, let alone a plane saw, miter, or a house to fix up. We didn’t know dick about house restoration and yet after only a few months we were discussing the relative merits of the home owner’s choices in counter top materials and if it was smart to go with the recessed lighting in the family room. We both agreed that if we were to ever suddenly come into a home that needed restoration from an eccentric aunt that had passed away that we’d died seek out Norm to do the work as the man was a master woodworker. It was sad, two of the biggest geeks in the history of geeks sitting around talking about house restoration as if we were born to the role. This just shows you how desperate we got for something, anything, intelligent to watch in the middle of the night.