I miss the blinking 12:00  

Posted by Jonathan E Johns in , , , , , ,


It's been a few years since I've had to watch Television. When I first Moved here, from there, I had not unpacked much of anything but my work clothes. For several months I just survived by reading books, and spending time with my kid.

That was great, but after a while, I got really bored. I got a very small TV, I think it was less than 13”, the color on it was pretty bad, I didn't have cable, or even an antenna, but I did go out and buy a GameCube (It was cheapest, and I have always had some kind of a Nintendo system around) and that kept me pretty busy for a month or so. I went out an bought an Antenna, and started watching at least some TV shows, just the important ones, and sometimes some shows when I couldn't sleep.

Finally, I moved out of that place, and got my own place, and unpacked everything, including my Tivo. Now it was time to get back into the habit I missed so much. I got Cable, including HBO, and got my Tivo up and running, and I felt great! I hadn't realized just how much I missed it, and just how great it was to not waste time by watching crap, or watching commercials, or having to plan my life around someone else's entertainment schedule. I mean, even in theaters, they have the same film playing at different times, and different days of the week!

I was back to being spoiled, I watched much much less TV, only watched the good stuff, and watched it when I had time, rather than on their schedule. I guess I probably missed some things, I mean, if you've never been a Tivo person, it is hard to explain, but basically, you don't usually watch commercials, at all, and so you miss some promotions, that might lead you to watch a Television show you wouldn't even know about unless you were reading Variety, or subscribing to TV Guide. But occasionally I would blip blip blip through the commercials, and something would catch my eye, and I would rewind (Not really, there is not any winding in a Tivo) and watch some promo or movie trailer, or I might even catch a commercial once in a while. But on the whole, I was in my own Tivo world, and watching only what I wanted. It is my dream of the future, actually, not to have 500 Channels to choose from, but rather, one channel, my channel, that only shows the programs I want to, when I want to watch them.

So I did not have to watch TV, I watched Tivo, which brings us to the present day. My Tivo account ran out of funds yesterday (Or the day before, I can't recall) and I cannot Tivo now. My expanded Cable ran out almost a month ago, and I have been struggling to watch not just Basic Cable, but even more Basic than that, the big four, Cspan, Home Shopping, WGN, Local Origination (Which is really just a bulletin board which plays classical music) and some Gospel channel. This 'Ultra-Basic' package comes free with the apartment, and I had been canceling my Tivo Season Passes (Those are the things that allow your Tivo to record your favorite programs, and manage your shows), and creating new season passes for shows I could now get.

Before I lost my expanded Cable, I had almost 40 season passes for shows like Battlestar Gallactica, Mad Men, In Treatment, basically, most of the shows that won Emmy's this past weekend, plus stuff like Good Eats on Food Network, Mythbusters, and shows like that. There were really only a few Network shows I watch, Lost, The Office, sometimes I still watch CSI, but it has gone downhill. Now I was faced with such limited choices, I was hurting to find 6 hours a week of shows to watch!

But now the hurt is on, because I cannot record shows during the afternoon (Homicide: Life on the Street on WGN at 1PM) then watch them late at night, when I have time to spare. Now if I want to watch something on TV, I have to sit and watch it when it is scheduled to air.

Now I know some of you might think that is a pretty spoiled brat way to think about something, since the majority of people in these United States do just that, and I guess I am spoiled, but I believe that my time is more valuable, and if I want to watch a TV show, I should be able to watch it when ever I want to. Yes, I'm spoiled. But here's the point. I had to sit down (Actually had to rush around the kitchen, and run into the living room) to watch The Sarah Conner Chronicles tonight. And because my clock was messed up, I ended up missing almost a half hour of it. Then, I had to sit there and watch commercials for diseases I don't have, products I'll never buy, and shows I would never watch.

It all comes back to my vision of the future, I didn't get to watch MY CHANNEL tonight, I had to watch the 'general' channel tonight, the one designed for the greatest common denominator. And now if I want to watch the episode I missed, I'll probably have to wait for the DVD to come to Blockbuster to rent it. (I know Sarah Conner is on Hulu, thank goodness for that) but the point is, I miss my Tivo.

I miss 'JonTV', I miss having control, I really miss Basic Cable, because that is definitely where I spent most of my TV time. Now I feel like I am sitting in a Bus Station waiting room, watching 'television' instead of in MY home, watching MY television.

I just hope I can dig out my old VCR, and get it programmed correctly, so I can at least watch shows that I can't catch when I am at work. I know I have VHS tapes laying around from ten years ago, when I used to have to work EVERY SINGLE Sunday night and miss the Simpsons, and the X-Files. I used to create JonTV back then, with my VCR, and I guess I'll have to dust that thing off again, and get busy.

This entry was posted on Monday, September 22, 2008 at 11:24 PM and is filed under , , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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