Thursday, September 3, 2009

New and Improved!

So what's the deal? Why is it that I can't watch tv without a written set of instructions (after a tutoring session from my kid, that is...)? I consider myself to be fairly intelligent. I can think logically and rationally. I can put a coherent sentence together. I can even add. So it isn't that I'm not smart enough. Nope. Nothing like that. In fact, if anything, I think I may be too smart. The deal is, that what I am not, is tech-y.

I'm thinking that to be truly tech-y, one must be very literal-minded. Nothing can be assumed or taken for granted, and evidently, my mind is given too far over to flights of fancy (perhaps why my family once unanimously voted me the person most likely to be abducted by aliens), but this is actually rather mind-boggling, because in reality, I am probably the most practical person God ever created. If not, I'd like to know who is. In any event, I am definitely a top contender.

I am not much of a tv-watcher at all. My tv consumption is limited to keeping my Man company ~ he watches nature shows and things while I knit and fold laundry ~ and watching NCIS on Tuesday nights with M ~ we "bond" by way of Google IM. That's the extent of my tv habit, so to get back on track, why do I even care that I need directions to turn the thing on? Well, as is soooooooo often the case, the reason I care is that I just can't help it: there is a serious streak of dyed-in-the-wool rebel in me.

I used to be able to turn on the tv, whether I wanted to or not, until the long arm of the Federal Government determined that we alllll needed better tv reception, therefore: Enter the mandatory digital signal. And just like that! with a snap of the Executive Fingers, we are obsolete. In the absence of cable or a dish or a satellite or some other such techno-wonder, a regular tv set "no longer works" and an antenna is useless.

But no worries! If you are unable or unwilling to ante up for new state-of-the-art equipment, Uncle Sam to the rescue with a $40 coupon for a box that will make everything alright again. Where Uncle Sam is coming up with the $ to give these out, and what, exactly, Uncle Sam's interest might be in making sure everyone has ready access to the God-given right of mind-numbing television is a whole 'nother rant, but the thing is, The Box doesn't make everything alright.

We have had The Box for quite a few months now, and while I have mastered the art of Turning on the TV, which is more than I can say for my Man who, in a bizarre turn of events, calls me whenever he wants to watch tv, I must say, the quality of our picture has gone from Analog-Acceptable to Digital-Dreadful. It is true that we get a lot more channels with The Box, but a great deal of the time the picture is broken up into little squares all over the screen. Other times we simply have a black screen displaying a/n (?) "Unable to get a signal for this channel" message. Don't recall ever having either of those problems with analog.

So ... Three or four channels that we can actually see? Or a myriad that we cannot? Which would you choose? Well. Not that you get a choice.

Welcome to yet another phase of Techno-Hell in the new, improved USSA.


Mary at Civilla's Cyber Cafe said...

There's probably an electrical fiber optic eye in the box to watch us and record our reactions! Eeek! The 80's have finally caught up with us.

grammaw marina said...

well tv ain't good fer us anyhow, just turn on npr for the news and if there's a special show you might could make a tv date with somebody who has dish network or cable or you can wait til it comes out on dvd and rent it. Oh brother if it wasn't for papacito being addicted to sports on tv we could just abandon the whole schmengie mess and save more money and time than we'd know what to do with! They started all this stuff years ago about how the government was forcing the broadcasting to change from easy-free to amazingly-difficult-expensive and gave several year's notice of the approaching forced change. Just like the Y2k scare and the current swine flu scare and all the stupid controlling diversion tactic scares. Hey let's just go to the movies every Saturday afternoon like the pre-tv generation did and then the rest of the time ignore everything. AHHHH