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Today in My History

2001:  Answering "The Call"
2002:  The Wedding
2003:  Birth Day
2004:  On My Own and In Good Hands
2005Do the Puppy Mash

2006:  Beware the Attack Corgis
2007:   Soap Opera Digest
2008:  The Anti-Superbowl

2009:  Plan Ahead

Tuesdays with Morrie

Books Read in 2010
Updated: 1/20
"The Weight of Gold"

Recipes for Cousins Day Drinks
(updated 9/4/09)


Herb's Comments
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4 February 2010

I had a frustrating telephone call from my mother this evening. 

The change from analog to digital TV has been very difficult for her.  She has ComCast so she didn't need to get one of those digital boxes and things should have gone smoothly, but there are a few things that are different.  

For one thing, she used to record one program while watching another and she can't do that now.  I don't know why, but apparently this is a known problem with the change over. She adjusted to that, though she's not happy about it.

But tonight she called, very frustrated, because "it says 444 but it's supposed to say 4 and I can't get it to say 4, so what do I push?" Whatever the problem is, she cannot find any program she wants to watch and she doesn't know what to do.

I explained that all TVs are not alike and that I can't tell her what to do without being able to see her remote controls and what she is seeing on her TV.  She can't understand why "they" can't make all TVs the same so all you have to do is push one button.

The advances in modern technology are not easy for older people.  Heck, I'm getting there myself.  I can't even imagine how I'll cope when/if I'm 90.

I have long wanted to get her a new TV and a new VHS/DVD recorder so she can watch movies on her TV, which she seemed to have missed at some point, but I knew that changing anything, even to something which might work better for her, will be difficult for her.  I also considered getting basic expanded cable for her because it would simplify her options, but she told me that she wouldn't ever use it, can't learn how to use it and wanted no part of it.  I didn't mention it again, but apparently Peach's husband convinced her to get it.

But it's so frustrating for me not to be able to answer her questions by telephone and have it be so frustrating for her.  She doesn't watch much TV, but what she watches she really likes.  I can't see her giving up CSI or 49er games or golf tournaments (though without Tiger Woods, that might not be as big a loss as it would have been a year ago), and her soap opera.

So anyway, I'm making an emergency house call tomorrow to see if I can figure out how to help her figure out her TV problem.  I sincerely hope it's a simple fix or that I can get help from ComCast (which I realize is a fantasy!) or, if all else fails, a call to Ned, who will then be in the same position that I am right now--trying to diagnose something over the telephone when he can't see what I'm working with.  At least I should be able to describe things a bit more clearly to him than she can to me.

I just wish I could buy her a new TV and a new recorder, but I fear that would end her TV watching altogether because she'd be so afraid of it that she wouldn't watch it at all.

Happy Birthday, David

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Oh for the good old days!



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