And another remote goes to live in the basket by the tv.

I’m sitting here watching the local news LIVE on my TELEVISION. My Agog-O-Meter is off the charts.

After puberty, I didn’t watch much television. I preferred books. With the advent of the cyber revolution, the Internet offered me all the entertainment I could handle (plus some). So even having the capability to watch 7000 channels, I mostly ignored the beast. UNTIL, against my will, I became addicted to Law & Order. I was appalled. I was embarrassed. It called for strong measures.

My New Year’s resolution for 2008 was to quit watching Law & Order. It remains the only resolution I’ve ever kept. Without a steady diet of homicide, pedophilia, rape, arson, corruption, and a justice system gone amok, I’ve been happier. You just can’t watch that crap day in and day out with consequences. That Law & Order is on at least one channel at every hour of the day doesn’t help.

I quit cold turkey and it was a lot easier than I thought. I would go days without turning the television on. So, I cancelled the satellite service which was installed years and years ago. The decision to get a satellite dish was made after (a) learning the Barn sits in a television broadcast signal “dead zone” and (b) after spending heaps of money on ever bigger, more powerful, unsightly antennas. The last antenna was only slightly smaller than a cell phone tower. It allowed us to get Channel 3 clearly, 8 on sunny days, 11 now and then, and 13 never. PBS was hopeless. I raised the only child born after 1970 who didn’t grow up with Sesame Street.

When the Green Bay Packers had their great revival in the mid-90s, Chef Boy ‘R Mine and The Ex couldn’t stand the thought of missing a game. 7000 channels including the local stations soon appeared crystal clear on our television moments after the DISH TV truck arrived at the top of the hill. (7000 channels, of course, necessitated a new television.)  The guys monopolized the television and I didn’t much care.

For the most part, I have not missed having television. The parts that aren’t included in that most part are being able to watch the news, not being able to watch Jane and The Dragon, and not being able to turn on one of the annoying morning shows while I’m trying to wake up and get motivated.

So, I figured out how to watch the local news on the computer. I joined Netflicks. I was reasonably happy. Then I learned about the Roku player – this cute little thing was going to let me stream Netflicks to my television set – not a beast by any means, but a larger picture than the laptop. The Roku came with a number of channels none of which included live newscasts.

I got greedy. I wanted news. On the television.

My television does not have a digital tuner. There’s nothing wrong with it otherwise – decent picture, right size for the room, and long-since paid for. When they pulled the analog plug, I couldn’t even get a fuzzy picture. If Armageddon occurred, I was going to have to listen to it on the radio or hope CNN had a livestream.

I am thoroughly enjoying the Roku.  If you have a Netflicks account and aren’t otherwise able to stream it to your television, I can highly recommend the Roku.  If they would just provide me with live newscasts, I would be a content, fulfilled woman.  But they didn’t and I wasn’t.

Well. A friend gave me a digital converter box and a set of rabbit ears. I didn’t figure it would work very well considering the rabbit ears, but I hoped it might pull in one channel clear enough to keep abreast of current events. I also acquired an ancient tiny portable television as I wasn’t about to pry the “big” television out the armoire in order to hook up gitchies to whatzits that might get one channel. And besides, I didn’t want more stuff hanging off the television – between the stereo receiver, the DVD player, the VHS player and the Roku there’s more than enough cords, cables, boxes, and remotes.

So, I hooked it all up. Even without the rabbit ears extended, I immediately tuned in the 3 major networks and a bunch of other stations I’d never heard of. The picture was beautiful. As fate would have it, one channel was playing the news, one had Law & Order on, and another had Jane and The Dragon playing. Even PBS came in clear as a bell.

I was agog.

So bug-eyed, I disassembled it all and hooked the converter and rabbit ears to the “big” television which was a pain in my pudgy pitoot. Moving everything into the armoire resulted in a loss of PBS and the Jane and The Dragon channel, but I can get them back if I fiddlefart with the antenna.

I am state-of-the-art now!  Relatively speaking.

It’s been a good week to be me.

Now I’ve stayed up too late watching the tube and probably will get up too late to tomorrow to see Today.

[Really, I don’t understand the appeal of late night talk shows. I swear my IQ dropped 10 points watching Jay Leno.]

6 Comments

Filed under January 2011

6 responses to “And another remote goes to live in the basket by the tv.

  1. I stand amazed that you were able to hook all that up and still write a coherent post. When will all the cords disappear? Is there a service you need to pay for to get service through the Roku

    We’re still TV-less and I can’t say I miss it. Larry watches movies every night on a DVD player and I’m online usually. I was extremely glad to be rid of the extra bill for all that noise, nonsense, violence and advertising.

    • No. At the present time there’s no way for me to get live news unless CNN has a livestream. The Roku allows me to watch NBC’s Nightly News shortly after broadcast which was nice, but what I really wanted was local news.

      The cord mess in the armoire has reached critical mass. I didn’t mention the wireless headphones or the ipod thingie that blares music through the receiver and the good speakers. When I’m feeling ambitious and clear-headed, I’m going to pull everything out of there, invest in a super-duper electrical outlet strip, cable ties and a magic wand. My mom’s Ryobi drill may also come into play.

      HMOKeefe has other plans, but if it were up to me I would never ever pay for television again. If your hubby watches a lot of movies and you have a broadband connection, I can highly recommend Netflick’s “instand play” streaming. You can watch as many streaming movies as you like (and the picture is quite nice) for about $10 a month. To get them on your television you need a Roku, an internet blu-ray player, a playstation or an Xbox. The Roku was wireless (that cord thing) and cheap. It’s an amazing little device.

  2. Mike Kelly Sr

    Hi Connie,

    When I got to the end and saw your picture, I was surprised, as I had no idea
    that this was going to end up being you !!!

    I too have pretty much given up tv. I stopped paying the 90 bucks a month
    about a year ago….and cant help but think of a bruce springsteen song about a crap load of channels and nothing on.
    I read every night for at least a half hour or more, as it helps me to relax, unless I get near the end and cant wait to finish…….then I get really excited and cant sleep!

    Ive bought my first computer in 82, and have been building my own now for the last 4 pc’s Ive owned. Now I get much better parts for the same money as a dell or other brands that are already made with the lowest bid
    parts.
    Back in 89, a friends mom who worked at yale univ gave me her password
    and ive been on the internet sense then. 300 baud modems take 15 minutes to download a very small picture……and everything had to be done in “C” language. Im going to be 56 soon, and have spent a lot of the past 29 years
    in front of a computer monitor, instead of a “TV” !!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. I was just blathering on somewhere about how I’v been hanging on the ‘net full-time since 1989, but dabbled with compuserve when I was taking of a Digital mainframe running beta newspaper publishing software in 1980. I remember when Usenet had less than 400 groups, there was no sound, no pictures, no color – there wasn’t a mouse and floppy disks were 5 1/4 inch and I had to make sure folks didn’t fold them up and tuck them into their wallet for safekeeping. I remember magnetic tape, punch cards, dot commands and the revolution of FORTRAN. I remember when everybody connected to a modem knew everybody else connected to a modem – at least by their email address or sig line. Most of them were all scientist/engineer types and I was the rogue haven’t-done-much-with-my-life. AND I was still running a 300 baud modem on a greenscreen at home when Windows 95 came out. I pitched a fit. The Ex tried to placate me with a 2400 baud modem, but I was holding out for a 486 maxed out at 20 mgs of ram AND a 14.4 modem. (Got my way, too!)

    I frequently blather on about books, computer woes, and the never-ending home maintenance. Hang around, it’s good to see new faces.

  4. possum

    Years ago when our cable company got real greedy, I said ENOUGH and bought an antenna, attached to my fireplace chimney. Out here in the woods, it brought in a few channels unless the weather was real bad. Mostly I did not care since I have only one program I try to watch faithfully, NCIS. It is not as gory as the others, and I close my eyes at the bad parts, but for Mark Harmon, sigh, I put up with the gore.
    With my antenna and now HD, I now get 4 PBS stations, 5 if you count the one in Spanish. I do get “local” news – if you consider local 70 miles away either to the north or the south.
    As for my computer, I still have dial up… what can I say.
    But, when weather permits, I want to be outside, not in front of any screen. I almost never watch movies…

  5. I’ve been home for four days, haven’t turned it on and don’t know why I would any time soon. Was gone for 10 days and didn’t watch it at all. . . still I pay ~$60 a month and I was at some store recently and those fancy flat screen 32″ TV looked real nice to me.
    It’s like an illness I suppose.

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