Saturday, November 18, 2006

Saturday Afternoon

I am just like many other Americans today. Bruce and I are about to sit down and watch the last half of the Michigan/Ohio football game. I'll start the fireplace and find some snacks. After the game we are going down to Lee and Eva's for dinner.

I can remember days when TV was not as available as today. When Bruce and I were first married, we had a directional antenna that gave poor reception from two stations in Thunder Bay. It didn't work very well in the summer because the leaves on the trees interfered with reception. We did, however, get enough reception to watch Neil Armstrong's first steps on the moon. All the guests gathered in our home to share the moment. I also remember feeling very left out when we could not receive "Roots."

Our next venture into TV came with a Betamax -- you remember those as the alternative to VCR's. Our friend, Ron Malina, in Chicago would copy a bunch of movies and programs for the boys. They would watch them over and over and over again. At that time I think I could recite the entire dialogue from "Top Gun."

Eventually dishes made their way up the Gunflint Trail. Ours was 13' in diameter and gave very good reception. When we first hooked up, I remember being on the telephone with a salewoman. She told me to turn the TV on while she contacted the satellite. In just a couple of minutes we had a clear picture. I was amazing to me that I could be in Minnesota talking to a woman in Atlanta who was talking to a satellite above me.

With our irregular schedule, the greatest channel in the world was CNN. We could come home at anytime and get daily news. After a bit, we learned to fall asleep after one or two rotations of the same news. Robert's wife, Miranda, stayed with us the year before they were married. She learned the same trick.

About that time we passed a milestone in our life. We bought a brand new TV. Previously we bought used TV's. When the only way to turn our current TV on was with a pencil, I argued for a new one. Both boys were in school and I figured we ought to be able to afford one. Finally Bruce agreed to go to Sam's where we picked up whatever they had.

Today we have the little dish that gives us more channels than we care to watch. We tried to sign up for local channels earlier this fall. The only two white pines on the southern side of our home blocked the local channels. The white pines stayed and we will read local news in the paper.

We find ourselves watching less and less TV. I still like to watch football in the fall but only if it is not good weather. Otherwise I'm outside. Satellite TV reception does make us feel part of the country again but we have lost the desire to follow weekly programs. Books, magazines, and newspapers are more interesting. Also Rachel Ray on the Food Network. Last night we saw her cook Thanksgiving dinner for eight in 60 minutes. It looked good, too.

Well, the second half is about to begin. Talk with you later.

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