Thursday, January 1, 2009

January 1, 2009 - The State of My Technology

So, it's New Year's Day. I did not do much celebrating last night due to a really womp'n sore throat and general feeling of rottenness. I think I'm over the hump but you never know. The way my colds go is that I get the sore throat first but no congestion, then the congestion, then we go into the coughing stage, then the throat tickle stage which is absolutely the worst stage because you'll be sitting talking to someone and get this horrible tickle and you know if you give in to the coughing you may never come out of it. So you resist and tears start streaming down your face and you wonder if the world will end. Meanwhile the person across from you is confused.

And this is really a long post because it's just that important.

So it is time for life assessment. This is where you evaluate your life from the bottom up. So, let's begin with the "State of Remotes." This is the one where you gather all the remotes in your home and remind yourself as to why you have them and what they belong to. Please use the picture above as reference. We'll be going from left to right.

1) The big Hitachi remote is for my 32" TV that I bought in 1992. It works great but weighs a ton and to move it is a very big deal. The remote no longer works. It just sits and gathers dust.

2) This is the VCR remote. It's kind of like an 8 track player at this point but you know you still have a lot of VCR tapes in that back closet that you may or may not ever play again. Mostly it gathers dust too.

3) Now things get interesting. The third remote is for this kick-ass surround sound system I bought around 2005 from the "Refurb Depot." It was also a multi disk DVD player and CD stereo. Wow! I'm set. It had these fancy skinny tall speakers that you put around the room along with a womp'n big woofer thingy. About this time the remote for my TV stopped working but lo and behold the remote for the new DVD/CD/RWR/WR/CC/SR unit worked with my old TV. Now I'm down to one remote except for those rare occasions when I watch the VCR.

4) This is the DVD remote for the other DVD player I had in my basement studio. But what happened is that the kick-ass DVD/CD blah blah blah died one day so I had to move the DVD in the basement upstairs to the main viewing area. Meanwhile I had to move all the speakers and woofers and tweeters to the 2nd bedroom which doubles as a graveyard for dead technology, books I'll never read or am too embarrassed to put in a public space, and gifts I'll never use or think I may re-gift some day. There's a bed in there too for guests. So now I'm back to really two main remotes—3 and 4. Yes I'm still using the kick-ass blah blah blah remote even though there's nothing left of what it came with. 

5) Enter the latest technology, HDTV. So the world has decided to turn the world upside down and require everyone to evolve to HDTV. Here's the thing. Even though I would love to buy a brand spank'n new flat screen 32" Samsung 1080 resolution TV (yes, 32" is totally appropriate for my viewing room size) I have a TV, actually two TVs, that work just fine. I don't have cable because I did once and just never really found much to watch but just kept flipping channels whenever commercials came on so I never saw a show in it's entirety. My solution: Netflix. So this last remote is for the HDTV conversion box that I set up yesterday. The good news is that the reception is great! And with my old rabbit ears antennae. By the way, I have no idea how I got it all to work because I did not follow their directions I just went by my gut instincts. Here's what they don't tell you. Yes, you get more channels but every channel is either letterbox, full screen, or something really small that brings the picture down by 1/3. In other words there's a big thick black border around the entire picture. I'm guessing this will all change on Feb 19 but for now it's a little disconcerting. You can change the display to fill the screen but it's confusing in a way that I really don't feel like explaining right now. And you can be watching the same channel and some shows will be in letterbox, others will be that small screen version so it's very confusing. And it's pretty silly to be watching a show that only fills 2/3rds of your screen so why have a big TV but then that's why you should buy a flat screen TV. See how they manipulate you into buying things.

Yes, I do have even more remotes but look how much I've written already and it's not like anyone's going to read this whole thing anyway. So on to our next assessment: why do I have a closet full of cloths but only wear one pair of jeans and two shirts. And you're wrong if you think I actually make any decisions based on these assessments. It's just what I do for the first couple days of a new year. It will not last. Have a great day.

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