Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Technologically Challenged

As far as I’m concerned, technology has progressed past the point of being helpful. Now it only confuses me. For example, television. My family and I have a high-definition TV hooked to a cable box, VCR, CD player, DVD player, stereo, three switch boxes, and five speakers, including a “sub-woofer” (why we need a “woofer”, much less a “sub-woofer”, is beyond me, because we already have two dogs). All this was set up with approximately 137 miles of wire and cables by my tech-savvy teenager. These contraptions are operated by six – yes, SIX – remote controls. As a result, I don’t even know how to watch my own television. In the old days, when I had only one remote control, if I wanted to watch a ball game on channel 4, I would simply press the ON button as I walked past the TV on my way to the refrigerator, then plop myself into a chair and press 4. Then there was nothing to do except drink beer and pass out. Now, with the Remotes From Hell, I have to get the TV remote, press TV FUNCTION, then TV POWER, then hit TV/VIDEO until it cycles to VIDEO 1 because my kids were watching a DVD on VIDEO 3 the night before. Then I have to find the stereo remote, which is usually under the couch, and hit POWER. This results in my getting deafened and scared half to death by 34,217 decibels of noise because that’s the level my kids left it at, so I adjust the volume down to human level. Then there’s the rest of the equipment, which involves 7 additional actions, NONE OF WHICH INCLUDES GETTING A BEER. The final step is to find the cable remote and press ALL ON, which turns the cable box on but the TV goes off because that button is a power toggle for both items. At that point I call one of my kids into the living room to help his clueless stepfather operate a device that modern children routinely master by age 2. In fact, remote control aptitude is now a prerequisite for preschool.


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