I was on TV -- apparently!
I have now received four independent sightings of me walking down Front Street in Toronto on CBC NewsWorld, in stories relating to iPods. Strange, considering I don't own an iPod...
Every April, I attend a conference at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in downtown Toronto. It is directly across the street from the CBC building. So close, in fact, that the food fair in the basement of the CBC building provides the nearest opportunity for lunch other than hotdog stands.
To get to the centre, rather than driving through the insanity of rush hour traffic or driving in and taking an overpriced hotel in the city, I catch the Via train in from Guelph for the three days of the conference.
As I am an avid trainspotter and enjoy knowing what is happening to the train I am on, the trains our train is meeting, what's holding us up, what engine number is pulling the train, and a dozen other intricate details most normal people really couldn't care less about, I usually bring a radio scanner with me along for the ride. I wear it all the way until I get to the convention centre to hear the mad rush of insanity at Toronto Union Station as trains enter and exit at a frenetic pace.
When it is time to go, I put the earpiece back on and listen for any problems relating to my train as I walk back to Union.
To listen to my scanner, I use a small white earpiece, with the wire wrapped around behind my ear, behind my back and into my inside coat pocket. This saves everyone around me from having to listen, keeps the scanner out of the way, and makes it a lot easier to hear. I've done this for three years running.
One of the days leaving the convention centre this April, a TV crew must have recorded me walking down the street wearing this scanner, because I appear to have become part of CBC's stock footage of iPod users. Now, I don't actually own an iPod, though my wife acquired one this spring that I have yet to try.
I first received word of this curious development through a message from my uncle in Montreal who had seen me on TV in a story about iPods. I didn't think it was possible, so I dismissed the possibility. I got another sighting shortly thereafter, and dismissed it as a curious anecdote, figuring it was probably of someone resembling me.
Then, last week, I was sitting in my hotel room in Ottawa, writing on my laptop. My wife and a friend were watching CBC NewsWorld from the couch in the same room. I was sitting in an armchair next to the TV, unable to see it.
A story came on about how iPods are becoming a distraction in the workplace, and how IT managers are trying to cope with them. All of a sudden, my wife and friend both transitioned to a somewhat excited state and informed me - not quite fast enough for me to see it - that they had seen me and this elusive piece of tape just then as part of the story. The camera was zoomed right in on me, I was told, with the white earpiece plainly visible.
Well, there you have it: my television debut was for wearing a scanner to a conference during the era of the iPod. If anyone happens to know how I can get a copy of the affected stories for posterity, I'd appreciate the advice!
Posted at 16:03 on July 27, 2006
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