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October 28, 2015

The Traumas of Flatbottom

And in the land there was a great gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair and rending of clothes. There is no joy in Mudville and it’s not on account of the Mets and the Cubbies. The mighty DVR has struck out, died as it were, rattled its last breath and took all the taped programs with it to the mighty storage bin in the sky. Come to think of it, why weren’t they on the Cloud? Don’t ask!

Hubby Flatbottom is destroyed. His DVR has died. The great all-seeing eye is silent and dark. All his many remotes are useless. And he is forced to watch Mike and Mike, and Dan Lebatard, and The Herd, and the few football games he can get, on his tiny 14 inch laptop. It is a sad day indeed.

I, being naïve in the world of electronics, had no idea what this DVR death meant or why he was so upset. For those of you that are technically savvy, you already know that the Digital Video Recorder is the connecting link between the Direct TV satellite and the television set. Without it, Flatbottom cannot watch his programs on the monster 56” TV AT ALL!   OMG! A fate worse than death!

For years Flatbottom has been taping every TV show he liked and saving them on VCR tapes. His plan was to move out to the country and watch them at his leisure. He has a collection of some thousand tapes, and since he is OCD  (not OCDC, that’s like a band or something) every tape is labeled, categorized, indexed and filed by number and type. Too many floor-to-ceiling book shelves to count, all crammed to the top with tapes.

When we moved to Huntsville, we bought a place in the country, a small 10-acre ‘ranchette’ mostly covered in pines that he doesn’t have to mow or pay any attention to.  He’s an Austin city boy, after all. The first part of the plan was in place. Then he purchased the biggest TV he could find and bought all the necessary equipment to play VCRs, DVRs, CDs, DVDs, HDs, Blue rays and even some kind of strange giant record-player looking thing. He was set.

Or he thought he was. With the advent of new technology, which seems to swamp us every time we turn around, VCRs are out and some new format is in. His Giant TV doesn’t connect to the Internet. And all his VCRs are as useless as the Dodo (those strange birds are extinct, aren’t they?). He invested in some machine that will copy his programs from the VCRs to DVDs. Except that now it’s Blue rays. And soon it will be something else. He’s certain that it will be crystals in the near future.

And to top it all off, the vast majority of the programs he taped so laboriously and lovingly over the years, now appear regularly on AMC, TMC, and the hundreds of channels offered on Direct TV. All that was old is new again. He and the younger generation can now laugh at Hee Haw or worry with Hill Street Blues or even shiver at Dracula or Nosferatu. (I did buy him a full set of HeeHaw for Christmas, which we never watch either).

Even though he is retired, and watching at least fifteen hours a day, he will never catch up with all those programs he taped. So, if he lost a few programs on his defunct DVR, I don’t think it is going to alter the course of human history or cause the polar ice caps to melt (wait, aren’t they already doing that?). But it is a sad, sad thing to see him crouched over his 14 inch computer screen trying to watch football! Poor Flatbottom!

 

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About Caroline Castillo Crimm
Retired Professor Emeritus from Sam Houston State University, interested in writing novels and speaking about topics such as the history of Latin American. Would like to share the AMAZING world of the 18th century in Northern New Spain, that's Spanish Texas and Mexico!
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