Friday, June 12, 2009

Good bye Little Friend

NOTE: I had a Flash 55 ready to go but at Noon today, things changed. I'll save it for next week.

For months now the government has been bashing us over the head with, “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!”

Okay, so the actual translation is “Your TV is about to quit working, your TV is about to quit working!”

Today, TV as we know it, will die. At high noon, the one in my office began it’s permanent nap…just as I was about to check the weather.

Yes, I understand the reason for the switch to digital was to add channels to the emergency network. (Terrorists, are you taking notes?) Uncle Sam gave us plenty of warning… plus a four month extension. And don’t forget those $40 off converter box coupons, limit two per household please. Ah coupons, the government’s personal bailout option for those with limited income who simply can’t afford to purchase a newer model or have no access to cable/satellite. It’s been interesting listening to the debate between those just too stubborn to make that new fangled talking box do more than play static vs. them who own every new play toy known to Nerd World.

Living as far out in the boonies as we do, where cable doesn’t grow, it became crystal clear 12 years ago we needed satellite unless we liked listening to people talk. I think they use to call that radio. So when the “BIG SWITCH” became the newest topic of conversation I read up on it, discovered we were covered and didn’t need government assistance to watch the programming of our choice. I didn’t give it a second thought until, like a countdown to doomsday, stations began to stream the “Big Switch” message across the bottom of the screen. During programming. Annoying is putting it politely. At one point I even yelled at the TV, "Enough already!” I’m prepared, the rest of the country’s been warned ad nauseum, so what’s the problem?

Last evening a nasty thunderstorm brought to my attention that I was about to lose a treasured friend.

The problem with satellite TV is that the cloud cover which comes with fierce storms blocks the signal. Bad weather = no “Weather Channel”. We fixed that by buying a weather radio , which warned us of impending weather doom in advance….in order to dive into a closet should a tornado drop by for a visit. But silly us, we still liked looking at a map so we could judge for ourselves how close Doppler radar indicated trouble was approaching our home. Hey, when your house is surrounded on 3 sides by fields, weather is an issue. Especially lightning. We’ve lost 4 portable phones to lightning in 12 years.

Weather might have been a factor when, several years ago, hubby bought me a portable color TV with about a 3” screen. Predating iPhone and the like, it was about the size of a walkie-talkie and could be run on batteries. Every year at the beginning of hurricane season, I’d check its batteries and place a spare set next to where I kept my Tiny Friend. You don’t want to run out of battery power just when the weather guy is announcing whether or not you might see Dorothy and Toto fly through the front yard.

Oh all right, so one night we did huddle together to watch the last 45 minutes of “24” when the power went out. Hey, Bauer was trying to talk someone out of something. How often does THAT happen?

The thing is, it wasn’t until the weather radio went off last night and the power flickered that I even thought about my little friend. It was with great sadness that I realized that Tiny T.V., which had seen us through many a wicked storm, will never warn me again.

Today, the signal died.

It doesn’t see fair somehow. My Tiny Friend took such good care of me and there I was, helpless to protect it from my government. Gee, where’s Jack Bauer when you need him?

June 1st was the official beginning of Hurricane Season. So as I go about filling the “spare water” jugs and checking the battery supply, my Tiny T.V. will sit in it’s cubbyhole all alone. In the dark.

R.I.P. Tiny Friend, you served us well in the country.


Poetikat said...

Hope - We've had a satellite server for years, have a pvr and converted to HD a while back. I wouldn't have it any other way, now that I've seen it. As for weather interference - it's pretty rare. Honest.


Susan at Stony River said...

Aaawww... my father had one of those, and it had a car adaptor that went into the cigarette lighter, so when the 'girls' went shopping, he could sit in the car and watch the ball game.

They make nifty ones that wind up--I found one in a survivalist's catalogue recently that you can recharge on your bike, along with a mobile phone and all that. That would be perfect for me--a television that was powered by a treadmill, so that if I wanted to watch I had to keep running! LOL I'd lose weight in no time, finally!

Well, good luck replacing your trusty friend, and good luck with the digital changeover. It sounds like a big pain (so do hurricanes!)

hope said...

Kat, it takes a pretty nasty storm to block us out. A;though a couple of years ago hubby did chop a limb off the plum tree one year when it began to sway....picture, no picture, picture. :) It's just sad to lose a device that still functions to changing technology.

Susan, I think it had a car adapter but danged if I know where it went. :) Mom got hubby one like the survivalist number...yep, it will now be useless as well.

Oh well, as long as I can plant tongue firmly in cheek, I'll live. :)

the broken down barman said...

all this is pretty alien to me. im one of those weird people who doesnt watch tv. i have a tv and i can watch dvds, but as for broadcast telly as we know it? no need. its crap, its boring and it wastes my time. i love the radio, god knows why, im only in my (early) 30's so never really grew up with it. the thing about radio is you can do other things when its on, tv you just end up sittin there staring at bollocks!!

hope said...

Barman, it seems we spend more time watching the Discovery, History and National Geographic channels than most of the general broadcast ones. Yes, sometimes I want entertainment I don't have to concentrate on but it's nice to have programming to veg out to as well.

When I came in last night, hubby was watching another episode of "Deadliest Warrior". {Remember the William Wallace thing?} This was Ninja's vs. Spartans. Makes me wonder who in the world chooses these pairings?!