The Olden Days

My television died yesterday.  I’m sad.  Now I have to replace it and money that I was going to use to pay off another credit card has to go to replacing my TV instead.

Discussing this on-line with my mother today lead to the following conversation:

Kevin says (3:45 PM):
So I’m getting a new TV tonight.  My one that I’ve had is kaput.  I’m not happy (except that I’m getting a new toy and that’s always fun).

Mom says (3:46 PM):
Sounds like fun to me.  Do you have one picked out?

Kevin says (3:47 PM):
Yes.  Vizio 37″ LCD HDTV.  Pretty much the same thing I already had.  I’d like bigger, but the cost is too much and since I wasn’t in the market for a TV to begin with…

Mom says (3:48 PM):
OK.  That means nothing to me, except the 37″ part.

Mom is not especially tech savvy.  I helped her to buy a TV on-line late last year and she pretty much just looked at the price and listened to what I had to say about the unit and took my word for it.

Kevin says (3:48 PM):

Mom says (3:48 PM):
well and the HD part

Kevin says (3:48 PM):
Pretty much the same as what you’ve got, except, I think yours was 32″?

Mom says (3:48 PM):

Kevin says (3:49 PM):
I thought I was going to have to get a 32″ which probably wouldn’t really be that bad, except I’ve been looking at 37″ screen for four + years.
I think I’d notice.  But then I found this TV and with my Target Visa card I get 5% off so that’s not bad either.*

I’m getting a big enough income tax refund to more than cover it so I’m not really “charging” it exactly, but my refund will probably be another 7-10 days.

The part I’m unhappy about is that I planned to use that money to pay off another credit card.


Mom says (3:50 PM):
Things are tough all over . . .

Kevin says (3:50 PM):

Also, I paid over $700, only four years ago for the TV that died.  Meanwhile, the 19″ tv I bought at Foley’s in 1994 is still going strong.

AND, the company that made the newer TV went bankrupt and was sold to Ericson who says right on their website, they don’t care about the old products and the people who own them.

Throughout the first half of my childhood we had a series of hand-me-down televisions in our house.  Several of them were cabinet units as big as a couch.  One of them was a mahogany monstrosity with sliding fabric panels that covered the screen and lift up doors in the top under which were an AM/FM stereo with 8-track player and a record player!!!  That one was nice while it lasted.  Back then no one had ever heard of such a thing as a “cable ready” television and each of these successive televisions had rabbit ears with aluminum foil flags at the ends that periodically had to be adjusted by someone for better reception.

And by “someone” I mean the youngest child.

And by “the youngest child” I mean me.

Three guesses whose job it was to change the channels…

In the mid 1987 my mother finally decided to use money from an income tax refund to buy the family a new color television.  She bought a brand new RCA model that must’ve been no more than 19″ and quite possibly smaller, but it was color with working volume and it came with a remote control!

Mom says (3:52 PM):
There’s a lesson in there somewhere,  Probably a history lesson.  They don’t make things like the used to!

My previous TV lasted, I’m not even sure how long.  Many many years

Kevin says (3:54 PM):
Oh, yeah.  You had that since… Shortly after we moved to Tulsa, I think… We didn’t buy it before we moved, did we?

Mom says (3:54 PM):
No, but it was soon after we got here.

Kevin says (3:54 PM):
Remember how excited we were, to have a brand new COLOR tv WITH a remote control?   Tiny little thing that it is.

Well, anyway I remember how excited III was, to have the remote control…

Mom says (3:55 PM):
Yes.  Hard to believe we used to actually get up and walk across the room to change the channel.

Kevin says (3:55 PM):

Mom says (3:56 PM):
Hey!  I was watching TV a looong time before you came along!

Kevin says (3:56 PM):
You had two other kids, too.

But yes, there was a time when you had to get up to change the channel.

Not long after I moved to California and my mother had no more tech support children at home she called me one afternoon and told me she had rearranged the furniture in her living room but now she couldn’t get her TV to work.  After asking some leading questions I determined that the television was coming on but that she was receiving no channels.  Back then, you had to “program” the channels in by allowing the television to “surf” through the frequencies looking for channels that came in tune.

I still remember the day you called me in San Francisco ’cause you had rearranged furniture and needed to reprogram your tv.  I told you to go push the “program” button or whatever it was called and you said you couldn’t find it on the remote.  I told you it was on the front of the actual television and you said, “You mean I have actually walk over to the TV???”

Mom says (3:58 PM):
Huff puff and wuff.

*For the record, I am receiving no compensation or consideration by Target, Vizio or Visa… Darn it.