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My 21st Century Leap

Admittedly I’m an old codger. I admit it, I confess to it, in fact I revel in it. I’m on the other side of the fence. What fence is that, you ask?

It’s the fence that seperates me from about, oh I don’t know, maybe 75% of the the world that spins around me. It’s something we all go through, or will. I’ll give you a couple quick examples.

Years ago, when my Mom and Dad were still on the planet, we got my Mom a mico-wave. I mean, this was back in the old days when mico-waves were 3 times the size they are now and signs were placed in restaurant windows reading “Caution: Mice-Wave oven in use”. I guess if you had a pacemaker, the mico-wave might make it spin like a top, I’m not sure.

Anyway, my Mom had that micro-wave for a good 6 months before she even turned it on. Oh, we showed her how “easy” it was to use, how fast it was. But she just didn’t trust it. She unplugged it every night because she was afraid it would “over-heat” and start a fire. Finally, Dad popped a bag of popcorn in it, and Mom decided it might be OK to at least heat up some soup. But she still wasn’t sure about it.

My Mom, you see, had crossed over that fence I was talking about.

Dad? I remember when we got him his first “wireless phone”. Oh, he used it, little by little, but I don’t think he ever really liked it that much. He preferred his phones heavy and hanging on the kitchen wall. You know, the one’s you dialed (the push button stuff was a little too high-falutin’ for him). Yep, he had crossed over the fence too. The world moved on and it was a challenge (he would have called it a problem) for him to keep up.

I remember thinking then “Geez, come on folks, don’t be so old and stuck in the mud…get with it!!”

Oops. I didn’t realize that the ‘fence’ is one that perhaps we all jump over eventually (or crawl over, as the case may be).

I was, I guess, the last person on Earth (or at least around here) that didn’t have a flat-screen High-Definition television. Why? Well, for a couple reasons:

The television I was raised on had a ton of great shows on…I mean a lot! “Mickey Mouse Club” to “Leave It To Beaver”, “Beverly Hillbillies” to “Gilligan’s Island”, and of course about a hundred great Western’s too! There was always something good on! And you know what? My television back then, well, it only had 2 channel’s. That’s right, 2! Now, I have about 70 channel’s (I know, I know, a lot of you have hundreds or thousands) and hardly anything good is on. Oh, I like the History Channel, I watch the news Channel’s some, ESPN, and heck, PBS has some good stuff. But otherwise? Well, on my side of the ‘fence’, we’re not really into watching people who were famous for 15 minutes 20 years ago dance, we don’t care for skinny people walking down runway’s and unbelievable as it may sound, we are not infatuated with the Kardashian’s butts. “Honey Boo-Boo”? No, on our side of the fence that’s embarrassing, but anyway…

The second reason I never had a flat-screen TV? Well, I have 2 TV’s, both about 20-25 years old and they worked fine. Yep, color, remote control, real nice. I didn’t need a flat-screen High-Def TV. The 2 I had worked great. I guess those of us on this side of the ‘fence’ come from a generation where, you didn’t buy something unless the one you had was shot, done, died, busted.

And that’s what happened. One of the TV’s started making sounds it shouldn’t, stuff like “pffzzt”, “qwrrrrk”, “shnittttzzzz” and then…nothing. Uj-Oh.

21st Century, Randy is on the way!

First thing I did: Call my kid. He’s a “tech-guy”, a wizard at stuff like TV’s, Ipods, Ipads, phones, and whatever the heck else is out there. In other words, not only is he “into it”, he works in it everyday. What do they call it? Oh yeah, an “IT Guy”. So I call him and let him know the Old Man is going to have to buy a TV.

He says “It’s easy”. The 2 words I have grown to hate.

Fast forward now. I buy the TV (It doesn’t matter how big it is, where I got it, how much I spent…..It’s a flat-screen HD). I get it home and the very first step is…

I call my kid again. We’re on the phone about a half hour, I’m asking him every question there is about hooking this monster up. In the old days, of course, plug it in, put on the rabbit ears and you’re good to go. Now I have a pamphlet about the size of Websters Dictionary….and that’s just for the remote.

Anyway, I’m feeling like a pre-schooler trying to learn calculus, but finally he helps me get it hooked-up and he didn’t swear at me once or call me stupid. I feel like I’ve gained a victory. And yes, I even remembered to buy an HDMI Cable! Yea!!

But I don’t have an HD box. Oh. I need to go to the cable company, rent one of those and hook it up to get High Definition.

I need to hook that up, too? OK kid, I’ll be calling you again tomorrow. Give my love to the family.

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