Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Watching TV

The weekend before the presidential election, I finally got around to canceling my cable TV service. With Project Runway over for good, there was no reason to continue paying for shows I never watched.

They said they'd schedule someone to disconnect my service, and I hoped they wouldn't do it before the election returns were in. So I continued to watch, knowing it was free. The election came and went, and still the TV channels kept showing up. But just as I was starting to think they had forgotten about me, since it was a week and a half after I called, while I was in the middle of watching Brit Hume's Special Report, the TV turned to snow. Before the Fox News All-Star segment of the show!

I resigned myself to TV silence.

Of course, we still had the DVD player and the VCR (whose remote control had collected a layer of dust), and that's the way I wanted it.

My daughter, however, is more enamored with television than her mother, so she started the TV remote at channel 2 and worked her way up the stations, only to discover that starting around channel 60, the snow started showing signs of movement. Channel 61 was a hazily watchable Cartoon Network, and Channel 62 was clear, as were 63 through 67 plus 70, and then the snow was back to stay.

That gave us cartoons, Country Music TV, SciFi, a Spanish channel that sometimes shows travel programs and other times shows really bad wrestling, the Food Network, a shopping channel, a music video channel, and CSPAN-2.

So, when I got bored, I turned on CMT and discovered the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader selection process as a reality show. They had a marathon leading up to nearly the last episode, and I followed the girls' trials and heartaches as they got cut. Some of the girls who were cut didn't dance well enough or kick high enough, one had some risque photos on her My Space page that could have embarrassed the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader organization, and one had hips that were too well-rounded to look good in the DCC uniform. At long last, though, they had their team.

We got used to watching our limited number of shows, but then my daughter wanted to see if the TV remote could find more stations, so she hit the search button on the remote. Instead of finding more, it lost everything we had, and we were back to snow everywhere. So sad.

Back to movies again. Then at Sparks from the Anvil, Wordsmith posted a couple clips from the 1973 version of the Three Musketeers. Classic! I had that movie and the Four Musketeers, and those clips got me in the mood to watch the whole thing.

But it wasn't on my DVD rack. So I looked through the VHS tapes in the plastic boxes I hide under the coffee table. No Musketeers there either! In my distress, I was comforted by the VHS version of Harvey, so we loaded that into the VCR, dusted off the remote, and started watching.

It was getting late, and we were sleepy, so we stopped the movie. As soon as we did, the Food Network showed up on the TV! We flipped through the channels on the VCR remote and had the same set that we had after they turned off the cable.

So now we're back in business with a handful of free TV channels, only now we have to turn on the VCR, push play, then push stop in order for the TV to show up. Sometimes, like when it's that Redneck Wedding show or that scary guy on the Food Network, it's not worth the effort.

But you can be sure we won't be pushing the search button on the VCR remote.


Malott said...

On my TV I have to choose between cable and antennae. If something like that isn't going on, your mystery may involve the occult.

Malott said...

I guess that should have been antenna. I studied a little entomology in college... My excuse. Though surely the device and the insect anatomy are related.

SkyePuppy said...


My mystery must involve the occult. If I have an antenna on my TV, I haven't tried it. All it would do is give me broadcast TV, which I never watched except for the Olympics.

Still, I don't like to look an occult TV gift in the mouth...

Malott said...

Up early today! Good girl.

Still, if you had somehow inadvertently switched your TV to antenna "mode", the cable channels would suddenly not tune in... I thought maybe that had happened.

No, it's probably all that time you've spent with your Ouija board.

SkyePuppy said...


Up early today! Good girl.

I got up at 4:00am to register for next semester's free medical classes. When I arrived at at the school at 5:00, I was #40 in line. But that was close enough to get my classes.

Now that California is teetering on bankruptcy, there's no telling how long the state will continue to pay for these training classes.