Long ago, in my distant past, there was no such thing as continuous, 24/7 television.
We had the basic, local channels, and If you were really fortunate you had a UHF/VHF antenna that could pick up distant channels. In fact, the dial on our television, if I remember correctly, Channel 13 had UHF/VHF stamped on it. Of course, now with remote controls and touch-screen technology, dials went the way of the T-Rex — just bones in a junk yard.
When you got up at 3 am and had nothing to do, when you turned on the tube all you got to see was a black-and-white bullseye, or just blank screen.
Whenever sleep escaped me, which was often, I would sit at the table, drink a glass of milk and dunk a Social Tea cookie. If that didn’t work, I read a book, looked at the paper, or if my mother didn’t get to the Jumble first, ponder a brain teaser. As a last resort, there were radio stations to tune to — John Gambling on AM or Alison Steele the Night Bird on the FM dial, where I listened to the progressive bands of the time.
Old habits die hard, and I still don’t sleep through the night, only now there are a gazillion channels to keep me occupied. But as hard as it is to believe, there are many nights where there is nothing on TV and I find myself bereft of options. At those times, I turn on the Mac and hit YouTube, where you can watch anything and everything all the time.
On one of my surfing nights, I came upon the Crazy Russian Hacker — also known as Taras Kulakov — a 30 year old YouTube sensation who greets his viewers with “What’s up everybody? Welcome to my laboratory, where safety is [the] #1 priority.” According to an item that ran in Business Insider in 2015, the Russian immigrant worked at Walmart after moving to the US, but since his rise to Super-Tuber stardom, Kulakov was able to quit the 9-to-5 and live the American Dream, making videos that tackle every hack you can think of.
From cake cutters to the best egg poachers, no subject is left unhacked. Each video is lighthearted, with his heavy Russian accent adding to the funny factor. Listening to him describe “egg pooching” is as entertaining as trying to de-jumble the Jumble, or having a glass of milk and a Social Tea cookie. His hacks are well researched and — hard to believe, I know— but I learned a thing or two.
Not for Nuthin,™ but if you find yourself up the tube without an option, tune into the Crazy Russian Hacker. Who knows, you might even learn something. If ever I find myself needing a pillow to lay my head on, thanks to Kulakov, I know all I need to remedy the situation is a giant contractor bag and a rubber band.
Follow me on Twitter @JDelBuono.
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