Robbing DirecTV to Pay Microsoft

No one has ever put me in charge of anything financially important.  The US Treasury has never called on me.  My tax preparation software always asks me to double check my facts.  I even lost the 7th grade student council election for treasurer.  That has always ticked me off.  The girl who won got ‘C’s on her math quizzes.  I know because I sat behind her and always had to switch papers with her.  But C-girl was put in charge of our entire class treasury – – the whole 42 bucks!  So what is it about me that screams “financially irresponsible”??

Well, here’s one thing.  As you know, I recently decided to trim our financial waistline by cutting out our monthly satellite TV subscription.  That will be a helpful addition of $75 to our monthly budget.  Sounds pretty financially responsible so far, doesn’t it?  Keep reading.

computeritis We’ve been having computeritis in our household.  That is a degenerative condition caused by too many people, and too few computers. Fortunately, it is a disease only rampant in affluent societies such as ours.  Third world countries have to deal with slightly less distressing illnesses, such as malaria and cholera.  But in our house, computeritis is going around like crazy.  The worst symptom of the illness seems to be uncontrolled computer pouncing.  Somebody working on his blog needs to pee?  Someone else will be in his computer chair before he even gets his fly unzipped.  And God help anyone who leaves the computer to check the mail.  Probably won’t see the sight of that screen again for two hours! 

The person who gets the worst case of the malady? Poor Resistant-Techie.  I think everyone figures that he is too technologically challenged to deserve more than a few minutes at a time at the computer.  But R-T is getting quite frustrated at constantly losing the musical computer chair game.  His blog is burgeoning, he is a master I-Tunes downloader now, and his surfing skills are way beyond average these days.  Plus, his birthday and Father’s Day are just around the corner, and I usually like to make sure he understands how appreciated he is this time of year.

So…I bought him a computer.  His very own super-deluxe, easy-to-operate, resistant-techie-friendly computer.  I saw in the sales flyer, I went to see it in the store, and I bought it.  And not one person who helped me locate it, load it in my cart, or check it out for me asked me if I could actually afford it.  I took that to mean that I was getting quite a bargain.  My credit card went through just fine – – another good sign.  The store was even on the way to where I needed to drop my son off for an appointment, so I was even saving gas!  And I would definitely get the new computer desk he now needed from the local thrift store, instead of one of those high dollar department stores.

So whether or not that beautiful new piece of hardware sitting in the bedroom far outweighs the yearly savings we will get from our dropped satellite subscription, it is all good right?  Hubby is happy.  I am happy.  The computer manufacturer and the retail store are really happy.  And C-girl?  Well, she is probably sitting in her stylishly decorated Manhattan penthouse, that she scrimped and saved and lived financially responsibly for.  But is she as happy as I am knowing that my wonderful, hardworking, incredibly selfless hubby never has to worry about getting up from the computer to get a Diet Coke ever again?  I seriously doubt it. 

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Streaming Video Slugs

So you may or may not have heard of Hulu, but if you haven’t, please feel free to come over and have H-T give you a masters course.  Hulu takes the available online television and movie content and puts in all in one easy-to-veg-out-for-eternity location.  And H-T is pretty certain it was created with him in mind.  Besides having lots of Simpsons episodes (his current guilty pleasure), Hulu has let him discover “quality” programming he never even knew existed.  Where else could he have found old episodes of the A-Team, The Incredible Hulk, and Battlestar Galactica, and chanced upon classic movies like Planet of the Apes and The People That Time Forgot – – all in one place??  They can’t call you a couch potato if you are actually in a computer chair, can they?  So what is the new term for people glued to their internet on-demand programming??  Streaming Video Slugs??

H-T has lost all interest in our satellite television programming.  I mean who has the patience to wait for a show until some big-wig at a television studio in Anaheim decides to air it according to his whim?  Not H-T.  He wants customized programming on his schedule.  In other words, what he wants, when he wants it.  (I blame all those Beverly Hills 90210 reruns I watched while I was pregnant with him, and on bed rest.  I knew those narcissistic snots where no good for such impressionable fetal ears!)

When I was his age I had this little 13″ black and white set in my room, and I actually had to get up from the bed and turn a knob each time I wanted to change channels.  And at that time, we only got 3 – – plus PBS if I stretched the rabbit ears all the way out and wrapped aluminum foil on both ends (But who wants to go to all that trouble for another Benny Hill episode??!!)  H-T gets visibly shaken when I describe the barbaric scenarios of TV watching in the Pre-Cambrian era of my youth.

I’ve tried to explain to H-T that there are a few downsides of this new era of entertainment on demand. He will never ever know the sense of accomplishment that comes from peeing, pouring yourself a Dr. Pepper, feeding the cat, and finishing off a crossword puzzle all before the end of a commercial break.  He will miss out on that giddy butterfly feeling that comes over your stomach when you know that thisis the night you will finally find out whether Luke accepted Lorelai’s proposal.

Yep, H-T and his generation will never know some of the joys of doing TV “old style.”  What if everyone could have known who shot J.R. just by heading to the computer and clicking a mouse?  Would it have had the same “oomph?”  I just don’t think so. But what do I know….I’m just a couch potato.