Tuesday, January 19, 2016

New Technology Is My Friend


For the first time in my life I have something other than basic cable. I like a few channels not provided by the local cable company on basic cable like AHC or Military Channel, NFL Network, DIY Network and Cooking Channel to name a few. My telephone company in conjunction (cahoots) with DISH Network kept offering me a deal that sounded too good to be true. I'm slow to change things that don't really need changing. I've been a customer for over 20 years and the only thing that ever changed on my cable was my bill: it kept going up.

But this year, now that I'm back from a six-week holiday break and a two-week-long stomach ache, I'm shaking things up.

The deal offered was so good it took six months of weekly conversations with the same customer service rep before I was (somewhat) convinced that they weren't going to pull a switcheroo and charge me a fee every time I turn on the television. They didn't ask for a credit card number up front, they didn't charge for installation and now I have something called a HOPPER and an additional remote for each television. They also brought three additional devices (joeys?) (receivers) in the house that need to be plugged in which has created an even bigger problem: where do I plug them in?

I guess I could run a line next door to my neighbor, Merlethem Shatz's house. She wouldn't find it until spring, anyhow, because she doesn't go outside in the winter, except to get the mail.

I used to complain about the basic cable because there were so many channels that didn't seem to belong. Included in my plan was a bevy of local artists singing off key at local church functions, local school sporting events that I didn't follow and 15 channels of various religious groups all vying to save my soul if only I would be one of the next ten callers to send in $10. I had two shopping channels, six news networks, five sports stations and the Weather Channel, which kept me informed on what Fat Guys Were Doing In The Woods.

All of this I had to pay for.

Shoot, I could have just walked around town and seen most of that on any given day. For free.

My old cable stopped on channel 99 and took about two minutes to flip through. Now, the channels number into the hundreds and I've yet to make it completely around and back to channel two.

I've got three free months of every movie channel. Who knew there was more than one HBO channel? Why do you need more than one HBO channel? More channels that offer VOD for free and VOD you have to pay for (this sounds like a pesky personal problem) and several other stations I'm afraid to push the SELECT button on because an extra charge might be incurred.

I now have the ability to perform social media functions on my television which opens up a whole other can of worms. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for technology but I'm just a bit late to the party. I have an IPOD--the original one with the clicking wheel and it works perfectly fine. I've seen no reason to upgrade--so they say--to the Nano, Mini or implantable thingy in your left nostril that I'm sure is just on the horizon.

I don't want to become so wrapped up in "the newness of everything" that I forget how to leave my chair to go to the bathroom. And with my addictive personality it wouldn't take very long before my butt and recliner became more than just friends and I ordered a supersize box of Depends to keep me dry. (Who needs Costco when you can order directly from Amazon on your television?)

I know I wanted to shake things up but the new satellite system couldn't have come at a worse time. I have two novels that are nearing completion and they deserve my undivided attention. I suppose I could put myself in timeout but I learned something new today when the technician came to finish the installation: My new laptop can communicate with the new satellite system. I'll be able to work directly through the television.

There's only one problem: I had to unplug the television so I could plug in the laptop.

Now where did I put that extension cord...

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