Thursday, January 22, 2009

Meet the Flintstones

My husband and I agree that our household is on the cutting edge of technology---- if it were still 1990!!! We are not techies. We've never been big on TV, we don't buy lots of gadgets. Some has to do with lack of interest, some is lack of time and somewhat that these things are low priority. Regardless, we manage to muddle through life in the stone ages. One thing that people are always shocked to hear is that we don't have cable. We used to have it, and we thought (as everyone else expresses to us) that there would be nothing to watch if we got rid of it. Well, about 4 years ago we sat down and realized that it cost us money every month to maintain what we considered to be a nuisance. Our daughter spent all her time begging to watch TV, and even refused playdates or interrupted dinner shouting "Spongebob is on! I have to go watch it!" Hubby and I spent hours desperately flipping through channels and hoping something "good" would finally be on. Later we'd realize we wasted 2 hours with nothing to show for it, not even entertainment or relaxation, and we could have been doing other things.
So anyway, we cancelled cable and while my daughter complained for a while, we have never missed it. We can watch anything we want online, and the benefit to that is that we can watch what we want, when we want, commercial-free. My daughter has figured out how to navigate the Disney Channel and Cartoon Network online, so her life isn't as miserable as it may seem.
Even more stone age than that? We still have the huge clunker TV that my husband bought in 1990. And it still works. We have a dual VCR-DVD player, and we have LOTS of VHS tapes. We can pick up nearly anything we want to watch on VHS for about 50 cents at Half-Price Books, so we find it entertaining and useful. Not long ago, I wanted to watch something on TV and I wasn't going to be home. We came up with a brilliant idea--lets set the timer on the VCR and tape it!! WOW!!! So we did, laughing hysterically the whole time because we'd finally caught up to the technology of the 80's and 90's. (and hey, maybe around the year 2025 we'll get a DVR!)
So all this brings me around to my point today. We had to buy something retail, because we had to get a coverter box for the TV before the national switch to digital. We thought long and hard about this and tried to come up with other options. We could get cable, and that would solve the problem, but we didn't want it. We could look for a used coverter box, which we did exhaustively, but they are not really out there yet. The only ones available thru Craigslist and other non-retail outlets are new ones that people bought with their coupons and are trying to make a profit on. We didn't really feel that buying that way would further our cause. We could have gotten a used digital TV and we considered it. However, that would ultimately render the current TV useless and create waste, which again wouldn't further our cause. We could have simply quit using the TV until a used converter box came along, and this may have been the option that best fit our pledge. However, that option met with a firm "NO WAY" from everyone in the house but me. So converter box it is. One small step for man.....

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