reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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remotely intuitive. [saturday morning smack-dab.]

we have a basket under the tv on the tv stand. in it are all the associated remote control devices. remote for the tv, remote for the cable, remote for the firestick, remote for the dvd player, remote for the older chromecast, universal remote, remote for the ipod dock and a remote for the standing fan, because it seems to be in good company there.

i remember the days – way way back in my growing up house on long island – when we would be sitting and watching our blackandwhite tv in the den. you had to turn the dial to switch the channels and turn a different dial to raise and lower the volume. pretty straight-forward. a product of older parents, i would watch doris day/rock hudson movies and mash and petticoat junction and gidget together with them, never feeling like we were underserved, never thinking we didn’t have enough choices.

and then there’s now. an infinite number of choices.

and yet, we look at each other and ponder when we should cut the cable and minimize – slightly – the cost of all these choices. we know that wifi will connect us to the firestick thing or the chromecast thing or – should we decide a smarter tv is in order – the roku thing. as it is, there are already too many remotes. i personally have lost track of how to access all of it. i think a smart tv would make tv-viewing-life easier that way. but, when is enough enough?

i remember when i wanted to watch a movie – a dvd – after my son left for college and i was an early-on empty nester. i had no idea how to set up the tv (you know, that bottom left button on the tv remote – nonotthecableremotethetvremote! – that sets things to av or something like that) so i called the boy. he patiently walked me through the process, which i wrote down in an effort to not have to call him again.

yikes. it is not necessarily intuitive. and now, with all the paraphernalia and a non-smart tv that’s rapidly approaching “vintage” (even though it is a flat screen and cost a bazillion dollars back in the day) it’s even less intuitive. middle age has its technological challenges. i don’t feel like anyone warned us.

add to that the fact that it is difficult to find something worthy to watch. we roll our eyes as we roll through the viewing guide. and keep a list of things people have recommended you can find elsewhere without all the accessories or, perhaps, with a few less. there’s really a short list of the things we care to view anyway.

goodness! ikea has the right idea. draw pictures and people will figure it out. simple. intuitive. they’ll get it.

my intuitive reaction is to just turn off the tv.

*****

read DAVID’s thoughts this SATURDAY MORNING

SMACK-DAB. ©️ 2022 kerrianddavid.com


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fallen and passé. [merely-a-thought monday]

so a few years back – for a little bit of time – we would get our netflix fix by signing into the mom-we-never-met-in-los-angeles-account-whose-son-was-the-ex-boyfriend-of-the-ex-boyfriend-of-our-son. it feels like we should send her a thank-you note for those times watching “parenthood”. i’m sure she is lovely; her son is delightful. we were grateful for the path in during a time in a place we had no cable and were mostly watching dvd movies we brought home from the tiny library. we didn’t miss tv. and, though we are back to having cable for years, we don’t really miss it now. it’s about time to shut it down.

i sent the picture of the fallen antenna and its hulking thirty-foot-plus tower to our children, and my son, incredulously (or was that with a hand smacking his forehead over our caveman existence), asked, “was that even something in use anymore?” to which i reassured him that we were certainly not in the darkest of ages and that it was purely decorative. i do, however, know that there are people still using some kind of antenna in some capacity. it’s just not us.

netflix recently announced that they are reconsidering the way they are selling their service. they are trying on a new program where you can’t glom onto someone else’s netflix to watch – across the street, across town, across the country. it would seem that they are changing the rules midstream, but i guess ya gotta make money. because i am idealistic, i’m certain that spotify will follow and so will rhapsody and dish and apple music – a sudden conscience burst of everyone-has-to-pay-appropriately-for-what-they-stream….eh, it’s doubtful.

everyone is on someone’s netflix. everyone is using someone else’s cable sign-in. everyone is on someone else’s amazon and someone else’s cellphone bill. it’s a thing called survival.

i was on the phone with the car insurance company. i had gotten the new premium billing for the next six months and it had gone up 20%. twenty percent. now, that’s a lot considering the age of our vehicles, the amount of driving we don’t do, the fact that (knock wood) we have not had any incidents, our clean driving records (knock wood again). i asked what the justification was for the abrupt rise in cost, particularly after years of decreasing premium costs for good behavior et al.

the woman on the other end of the phone was lovely and explained “inflation” to me. i calmly retorted back, “so, the insurance company is responding to inflation by increasing premiums 20% while recognizing income is not growing in any manner near that.” she paused and drawled, “you know, i couldn’t agree more.” it was not without glee i got the increase down to 10%. but even then, i was still a bit disgruntled. when was your last 10% raise?

the time-before-the-last-time i called spectrum (our cable company) and asked for a review of our service and billing, i made it abundantly clear that i was looking to lower our cost. after a long period of time on hold – during which i listened to some beauteous piano-cello music – the rep came back on the phone and excitedly (this was contrived, i’m sure) told me that she had a great new deal for me. with unmatched enthusiasm she described the new deal…all the channels and services and blah-dee-blah…ending with “shall i sign you up?” naturally, this did not include the price. and for good reason. when i inquired about the pricing, she told me the cost of the package. it was $35 MORE than our current package. more. to clarify: more.is.not.less. i was speechless for a moment, trying to think of anything positive to say. i uttered “nothankyou” (twice to make sure the recording got it) and hung up.

soon it will be time to cut the cable. we watch very little tv. and that which we want to watch we can likely purchase in an app or something. i’ll have to ask my son.

because the days of being gathered in the living room around the tv watching “mary tyler moore” or “gidget” or “hogan’s heroes” or “petticoat junction” or “growing pains” or “three’s company” or “golden girls” or “cheers” or “friends” or “home improvement” or “everybody loves raymond” are kind of passé.

master marsh was right. the photo of our tv antenna demise should be labeled “the death of broadcast television”.

*****

read DAVID’S thoughts this MERELY-A-THOUGHT MONDAY