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Modern Tech Gadgets are Great—Except When They Aren’t

POSTED ON Sep 03rd 2013 BY LESLIE LOFTIS UNDER Gadgets and Techology, Life Admin

We recently got a second TV. We had to redo a leaky room. The previous owners closed in a patio while leaving it a mere 3 inches below the foundation of the rest of the house.  In Houston, that results in a shallow swimming pool. Since we had to go into the walls, we wired the room for a fancy “smart” TV. We also got a universal remote for our original TV. In theory, watching TV will be easier with a single remote. But theories sometimes fail.

Room redo finished up two weeks ago. This Labor Day, my mother, The World’s Greatest Grandmother (TM), is hanging out with us. She has helped me with breakfast, dishes, tidying, and laundry from last night’s adventure in tummy bugs. (Terremoto was sick. She’s fine now. Bed still drying out from Lysol dousing.) After all of this activity and while her grandchildren are playing fort and I’m trying to do filing, she wants to watch the news. Simple request in a house with two TVs, yes?

No. The universal remote needs a firmware update to work. My husband, who had to go to the office to deal with a troublesome settlement, set up the remotes and login information. He is unavailable. And before anyone thinks I’m blaming him, I was the one who insisted on the universal remote and forgot to put the login info in my file. The old remotes won’t work. Not sure why. One apparently because one of the Things spilled water on it, or so Calvin and Cupcake tell me. The other remotes won’t even work after fresh batteries. So, I checked the wiring. Of course, to get boxes and wifi and AppleTVs to talk to the TV requires a lot of wires. Ours aren’t even a huge spaghetti mess (on this TV) but I still can’t sort it out.

So I take Mom to the new room with the new TV. It’s worse. “Smart TV” is the PR term for “dumb computer.” I’ve never gotten the cable, or whatever normal TV is called these days, to work. And the closet where all the new fancy wiring leads, well that one is spaghetti as soon as it comes out of the wall. It doesn’t work and its a mess that takes up most of the closet shelf space in my guest closet. Insult to injury.

Mom hasn’t caught the news. (And I still can’t get her onto web news.) I’ve blown my filing time yelling at a tangle of cords and plugs. And the children have now abandoned their forts, leaving only a long tidy up for this evening to look forward to. They also warned Yasha that I was “in a mood” when he returned from the office. Such helpful children they are.

I hate tech gadgets! And yes I see the irrationality of this position for a woman who owns an iPhone, iPad, iMac, and a laptop. Sometimes modern tech is great. But some days I just miss having to stand up, walk across the room, and turn the dial to one of the 5 available television stations.

UPDATE (sort of, as I never got this posted yesterday because Yasha and I spent the afternoon problem solving): Everything up and running. My mom is now watching the news, or really, yelling at the TV and me about John McCain’s statement. Yet another reason I prefer to read the news. Less insufferable.

1 Comment



  1. edge of the sandbox said:

    I was a proud Luddite until I got an ipad a few month ago.

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