Monday, June 17, 2013


My morning pre-work habits are pretty fixed, starting with turning the alarm clock off, bathroom stop, letting dogs out, and so on. A major fixture through it is having my favorite local morning news station on via the TV and DVR.

I admit it: I'm spoiled. The ability to pause, rewind for something I missed or want to hear/watch again, skip through commercials, all make it my morning news, my convenience. After all, I'm the only one watching 95% of the time. The rest of the household is either asleep or working. Occasionally Steve's irregular sleep schedule brings him out to join me for a bit. But rarely does that change things, except occasionally pausing and rewinding for something of his interest. When I leave the room for my morning shower, off the TV goes. He's on line.

So this morning I had to find a work-around when the TV announced it was getting no signal. Now generally with satellite that means bad weather. Nope, sky clear as a bell, birds singing like crazy. It was because of yesterday. Steve and I watched several DVDs.

OK, with a "normal" set-up, this is no problem. Switch everything over to DVD player input, switch back. Only our current input is an old slightly malfunctioning Play Station 2, with the DVD player currently set up in Arizona. We didn't buy another one, and Paul donated his old machine to the living room system when he upgraded. It has consequences. It's noisy. It overheats, sitting in the entertainment center, so the fan comes on with increasing loudness until the thing finally gives up the ghost for an hour or so. As this usually happens well before a single movie is finished (I still haven't seen the rest of "Argo"), we decided to come up with Plan B.

Steve has a little stand-alone 19" TV in his room. It's one of the original flat screen hi def ones, back when something that little cost $400. Its saving grace is a DVD player built as a slot in the side. We can switch input from cable (satellite) to DVD by remote. Yesterday we had Paul hook it up for us in the living room, sitting on a small table in front of our regular TV close enough to us that it filled our field of view at approximately the same size. He even hooked it up to go through the better sound system for us.

Sweet, huh? And when we finished, he disconnected everything and put it back where it had been. Well, mostly. As it was then my bedtime, and Steve was busy on line again, seeing how hits many his latest blog posting had gotten since putting up a link on Facebook, the TV stayed off in the living room.

This morning I tried to watch my morning news. "No Signal". I can see by the lights that the DVR is working, recording the news for me. But whatever gets that signal to the TV isn't hooked back up. Paul, of course, is at work.

I, of course, am hopeless when it comes to knowing what goes where, much less being able to kneel in front of everything to physically put plugs into holes, or whatever the proper terminology is for making the connections.

I mentioned a work-around. On line, of course. I Googled the TV station and hit the link for live feed. Worked perfectly, as expected. However, no pausing, no skipping, no control over what is aired when. No avoiding commercials, no pausing to study the weather forecast. TV just like it used to be, not so many years ago.

In other words, inconvenient.

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