My DVR was crashing, so I called the cable company.  The first thing they did was thank me for being a customer for 39 years!  That was so shocking that I had to stop for a minute.  We’ve had cable for 39 years?!  Wow!

When I got the new DVR box, I brought it home and got it hooked up all by myself, but ran into a problem programming the remote.  It took a phone call with a lovely customer service rep and a service call from a cute young technician, who fixed it in about 10 seconds.  In the meantime, HORRORS, I had to get up and go over the television and physically adjust the sound.  Talk about a flashback!

My family got our first television when I was in grade school, way back in the early 1950s.  We had rabbit ears and there were only about three channels and whoever was sitting closest to it had to reach over and change the channels, adjust the volume, adjust the picture (which was often full of lines with a fuzzy picture) or the antenna.  Programming started with the 6:00 news and ended with the 10:00 news, with a test pattern on the screen in between.  We often sat watching the test pattern, waiting for the shows to come on.1950s-Indian-head-TV-test-pattern-1024x790This technology was actually pretty slow compared to today’s standard of new technology every few months.   The only change in our house was a newer antenna and a larger screen, soon in a fancy console, and finally color television.  I was about to turn 30 years old, married with four children, before cable came – 39 years ago, like the cable rep said.  The biggest things about this were the fact that we didn’t have to have an antenna and we now had up to 36 channels with a cable box with a long cord.  My kids probably hit each other over the head with that box arguing over who had control of it.  I remember having a key to lock off HBO with its possibility of shocking programming.jDOac-1You still had to get up and change the volume and turn the television off and on by hand.  The next great step was a tv with its own remote to do those menial tasks for us.  Now we just had to fight over who got the remote.

Look at us now.  Hundreds of channels and still nothing to watch, fancy remotes that you need a manual to learn to use, and the ease of never leaving your chair to control your program.  Actually, I have three remotes – one for my television/cable, one for Apple TV, and one for my combo VCR-DVD player.  I have to get up and cross the room to change something so each of those will work.  Poor me.

I have no doubt that everything will be very different in a matter of minutes, so I’m going to make sure I can at least operate the remotes I have.  Just shoot me if this is the worst problem I ever have…image