Necessity is the Mother of Invention, and Maybe His Grandma Too

It was a time of dread…

A darkness had fallen across the household.  Evil Genius retreated to his dark cave to hide from the world.  Children were bored and sad.  Mom was slowly losing her mind because she could not remember where she had put it.  All of this because… we had no satellite…

This would not be so bad, except that the rabbit ears were being, well, very very bad.  We could not move, we could breathe lest the station go out.  We were down to two stations that would actually come in, and even those were extremely touchy.  This is not something that I would care about very much, except that nothing else seemed to be working right to try to help the situation.  I needed PBS back for my hour of sanity per day.  The kids wanted PBS back.  Evil Genius wanted his football.

Finally Evil Genius tired of all this foolishness, and went about a solution.  I didn’t hear much of the scientific explanation as to why all of this was happening. There was something to do with water and electromagnetic something or others in our body that would affect the signal.  I’m sure there was some sort of coefficient in there too.  He set to work, and in a matter of a short time he came up with a very sound solution:

Well looky there. A nail solved the problem.

That was easy.  Jeff Foxworthy would be proud.  Everything comes in plus we gained a station.  No ABC, but I think we can live with that.  At least there is one thing in my life I sort of have control over.

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Please Stop Breathing So TV Will Come In: Our Life Without the Satellite

We’re doing it wrong.

Now that the election is over we can get back to what really matters in our house:  TV.  We’re taking a (forced) break from our satellite dish and relying on a set of rabbit ears, Netflix streaming, my husband’s laptop connected to the TV through an old monitor cord, and Family Video as well as our own collection of movies for entertainment.  And maybe a shadow puppet show or two.

It’s not so bad.  But rabbit ears are extremely touchy with today’s digital television.  We don’t get ABC at all.  CBS, NBC, FOX, and a few channels we don’t care about come in pretty well.  PBS does not.  You may recall that we have two kids who live for PBS programming.  There’s been a lot of tension for my kids because of this.  PBS WILL come in if we follow these directions for watching PBS with rabbit ears:

1)  You must sit perfectly still.  There will be no talking, laughing, or moving, or breathing.  No noise, no movement, did you hear me?  NO BREATHING!

2)  You may not walk past the TV.  We may lose the signal for hours.  This includes adults, children, dogs, and cats.  That means no going to the bathroom.

3)  You may not do anything in the kitchen.  That means no cooking, cleaning, or dishes, because that also makes the signal go out.  I was REALLY sad about that one…

4)  You may not sit within eight feet of the TV.  Even if you are sitting perfectly still, because your body’s aura disrupts the signal.

Gone are the days where you could see some of the picture without a real good signal.  It might be fuzzy, there might be a little “snow” and static in the picture, but you could make stuff out good enough to watch the show.  Analog TV had its advantages.  I can’t stand the way the digital signal cuts out with those shrieks and squeaks and loud buzzes.

Seriously, though, living without the satellite doesn’t really make a lot of difference to me.  Yes I miss the DVR part, because I have no idea when anything is actually on, except for The Big Bang Theory.  But most shows I can catch the episodes on their respective websites.  As of yet I’ve only paid for the Netflix streaming.  Since we can hook up our computer to the TV with the giant cord, we can still watch the few shows we watch regularly on the TV.  The Netflix, well, we’ll keep it for a little while, but the selection is about you’d expect for $8 a month.  Since we found some older comedy routines and movies we want to see, it’s worth it for now.

So that’s that.  We only get a few channels and no one has died.  Hey, I only got four channels as a kid and it didn’t kill me!  We may not have access to a lot of great tv, but if nothing else I have found a great way to make the kids sit really quiet and still.  You should try it.  I’d better stop typing now, because I’m disrupting the signal.

UPDATE:  Go here to read the continuing saga of the rabbit ears-Necessity Is The Mother Of Invention, And Maybe His Grandma Too.