Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Digital TV and other crap

Yesterday I got up early and decided to make a serious effort to get out and finish my garden project of the twelve by four garden bed that will mostly have decorative sweet potatoes growing in it. I really need to finish that up, because I've already started another project of moving some flower bulbs. So I have a big mess to deal with, and I need to finish with something.

And of course on the one day that I get up early and decide to deal with some stuff, it started raining about an hour and a half later. So it will just have that last little bit of it not done for however long it takes for the soil to dry again, and the new project will just be half-done for a long time after that.

Sometime after it stopped raining I went and voted in our little community elections. I meant to do that the day before, but I forgot what time the clubhouse was open for voting. And I really don't know these people, so I vote based on who sends me the most interesting flyer. So there were nine people wanting to be elected, but only four wanted to be elected enough to send me a flyer. So that narrows it down a lot. Two of them were easy. Only two of the four were running against each other, so that was a tough one. In the end, I just guessed. On the way out someone thanked me for walking all that way to vote. It wasn't anyone I recognized, so it was probably someone I voted against. Tomorrow I should walk over and find out who won.

My mother and I are somewhat at it again. I have asked her again and again not to bring up certain subjects, that I will just have to stop talking to her if she continues to keep talking about certain subjects, etc.... And she still doesn't get it. Right after I tell her that something is off limits, she talks about it more, saying that she doesn't want to talk about anything personal. I didn't say that I didn't want to discuss personal aspects of a subject, I said that I did not want to discuss the subject at all. I remind her of that, and she keeps talking.

Also, she has said that she doesn't want me to be mad at her, so she's thinking that she should do something that goes against her better judgement if it will make me not be mad at her anymore. It won't. It will make me be less mad at her if she tries to undo what she did wrong, but it won't erase what she did in the first place. If you do something to make someone mad, you just have to live with it. If you said that you were going to do something, and you don't do it, even if you think you have a good reason, people get mad at you. You have to live with people being mad at you if you don't do what you say you will. Will people be less mad at you if you end up doing what you said you were going to do like a year later, probably. Will that totally fix things, probably not.

My husband continues to work on his business idea, and towards that end we have bought a new computer. We would have bought two new computers, but right when things were starting to be okay, his real job isn't going so good. In the last three weeks he has only worked five days. And he can't use the time off as he would like because a.) we have less money than he needs, and b.) the other person in this business venture had to go out of town for three weeks.

The TV switch over is in a couple of weeks, and I am really starting to hate it. First of all, this upgrade is a lot of nonsense. People who want to pay for a better TV picture already did that. I have never understood why it was necessary to force this on the rest of us. The TV worked just fine before, and for the past year or so it was just fine to have the TV work both ways. But in a couple of weeks I am going to have all kinds of problems when the regular signal is gone for good.

First off, I sent for those coupons that were supposed to get us free converter boxes. I never did see anyone selling the things for forty bucks, so they still ended up costing ten or twenty dollars, even with the coupons. So we got one last year, and it worked okay, and then we kind of forgot about the whole thing. Later, we realized that the VCR wasn't going to work without a second box, but the coupons expired before I realized this.

So then we thought about buying a new VCR.

Apparently, there just aren't any VCRs that work with the new signal. All the VCRs need converter boxes. That sucks. I mean, all the TVs made after a certain date have to work with the new signal, and we bought our TV about a year too early for that. But why didn't they do the same with the VCRs?

Anyway, after looking on the Internet, we see that there is a way to use the one box for both the TV and the VCR, if you go and buy some more cables and such. So we were going to do that, except on the day that we were going to go and buy the cables, we notice that method does not allow you to watch one program on the TV while recording something else on the VCR. You can only use the VCR to record what you are already watching on the TV.

So that sucks.

Okay, so I look around on the Internet, and they will send you a replacement coupon if you didn't realize that you needed two boxes and you let one of them expire. I'm not sure how they would know such a thing, but I filled out the forms to get another coupon. Unlike the first coupons, the new one came in about a week. So off we went to Walmart to spend ten dollars on another box, and then we also had to spend another twenty-five or so on additional cables and such.

Later we saw that some of the cables were at the dollar store.

Anyway, both boxes are now hooked up and there are cables and splitters and whatnot and we now have to have four remotes to watch TV instead of the two we were using last week.

And we've found out that the VCR still isn't going to work properly.

Well, most evenings when he is at work, I am using the VCR. Usually I watch what I want to watch on one channel, and then I record something that he wants to watch (or hopefully something that we both want to watch) on other channels. Or I record something that we both want to watch on various channels while I am out doing something else. And there is usually something on one channel at seven, and something on another channel at eight, and maybe something else on a third channel at nine.

Well, you can't do that anymore. The VCR is only going to work on one channel, until such time as you change the channel. You can't just program the thing to record on one channel at seven and another channel at eight and so on. The VCR has to be set for the same channel for the entire time you want to record things. So if you go out of town for a bit and try to record stuff while you're away, you can record eight hours of tape on the one channel, or maybe ten hours of disk on the one channel, but not on different channels.

With these damned boxes, you'd have to buy a different box and VCR for each channel if you want to program the VCR the way that you used to.

In addition to that, one of the boxes really sucks on FOX. I guess I'm glad that it sucks on FOX instead of some other channel, as I can watch most FOX stuff I like on Hulu.

I guess it was all meant to force us into getting cable and Tivo. That's what I thought in the beginning, before they said they were going to send everyone these coupons. Even with the coupons, we have spent about fifty dollars. And it still isn't going to work right.


dmarks said...

On cable, our local FOX station looks so bad it is like some kid is running it out of a camcorder instead of real many-thousands-of-dollars TV equipment. I remember wanting to watch MANTIS, but the quality was a lot like one of those homemaded Youtube videos.

I hope the switchover to digital TV never comes. It has been postponed once, so it is not too muhc to hope for it to happen again. As for the problem with buying VCRs, there is a similar problem with buying DVD recorders. Because of the digital TV tuner stuff, they cost $180 now instead of just $80.

Oh. And we can't record anyway. Unless we want to only watch the channel that we record. Otherwise, if you hook it up the way you want, it partially disables the cable box. Arghh.

And going from two remotes to four? I think they should make this stuff so it works on one remote. Two is bad enough.

Ananda girl said...

Yikes! We just got a TV that is digital ready. It was used... they wanted a bigger one. I only use one universal remote for everything. I cannot deal with that much complex. My brain would explode. But I also don't use my TV much either. So it goes.

Tee aka The Diva's Thoughts said...

Sounds like alot of work.

bulletholes said...

i signed up for a coupon yestwerday. it should be here around the 18th. A week without television! oh no!

laughingattheslut said...

At this time of year it is mostly reruns, so you aren't going to miss much. If you have Internet access you can catch up. You will miss one episode of The Unusuals, which I believe is ABC and available on their website, and an episode each of Mental (not to be confused with The Mentalist) and The Listener, which are both available on Hulu.

Why did you wait so long to get a coupon?