We got a new TV the other day. It's an HD something or other, which prompted miscommunications between my husband and me when we discussed whether or not we want HD. No, I say, to the hereditary disease. Yes, he says, to the technological advancement that [fill in after consulting Wikipedia].
HD does not, it turns out, stand for Heavy Duty, or heavy anything.
Ours is a 32-inch flat screen model, which, surprisingly, isn't nearly as heavy as our previous 19-inch fat screen model. In fact, as we walked to the car with it, I offered to help lift the box, wanting to show off my gym-honed muscles, but my husband easily hoisted it into the car himself. I was impressed, until I lifted the box. Light as air-popped popcorn. I lift dumbbells that weigh more. Heck, the new medicine balls at the gym are twice as heavy!
I figured something so light must be pretty easy to figure out too, but boy was I wrong. It's been over a week and I still can't turn on the damn thing. (I think it's getting back at me for laughing at my husband for watching back to back episodes of Glee.)
When it comes to technology, I feel a dumb jock, and getting dumber as technology advances. Maybe all those endorphins I get from hanging out at the gym have turned my brain to jello, while my muscles turn to hard little stones.
All I wanted was a TV with an on/off switch, a volume control, and a channel changer, all on the front of the panel. You know, BUILT IN. Right in the panel! Remote controls intimidate me, and with our old TV, we needed three different remotes to turn it on, adjust volume, and change the Sky channel. After several years, I'd finally figured out what I needed to do to turn on the TV and choose the channel I wanted. Since I rarely watch TV, it took me a while to memorize which button did what, which remote controlled what, and what to do if it didn't respond to my pleading tone as I begged it to come on. (Unplug it, plug it back in.)
Then we get the new HD TV with a universal remote, and another satellite box for something called "Freeview" which doesn't seem to be free at all. Best of all, our new TV is compatible with Apple TV, which I sort of understand. There's a separate remote for that, a chic little number that matches our other Apple devices. I loved playing with that the one time I figured out how to turn it on. You can use it to display your photos, like a giant electronic picture frame.
But the universal remote has me confounded. One mode for TV, one for satellite, another for the receiver (which has to be on in order to get sound) and another for the Freeview. And probably another mode for DVD, but who has time to watch DVDs? Once I manage to get the TV turned on, it takes all my free time just to figure out where the channel I want to watch is. Satellite one? Two? Buckle my shoe?
All in all, it's been one big TV #FAIL. I've resigned myself to never watching TV again while my husband's not home, which is pretty much how it's always been. All the good stuff comes on at night anyway, or is available through the BBC iPlayer, which works on my iMac. (I can deal with computers, as long as they have an apple somewhere on them.)
It's not just TVs that confound me. I spent the last week working myself up to send a text. The new dog sitter had innocently asked me to text her the details of our trip. I finally screwed up my courage and began. ALL CAPS! Oh well, maybe she'll think it's urgent. But then I had to spell out the numbers since I couldn't figure out how to switch to numerical mode. She probably figured I was just some dumb jock who never learned to text properly.
No, I don't have a smart phone. I have the dumb jock model, circa 2004. I can barely see the numerals on its keypad, much less the letters. Once in a while, though, I manage to answer it when it vibrates. (No, I don't know how to turn on the ringer. I keep it in my pocket, and it's kinda fun to feel the vibrations. You should ring me sometime.)
Oddly enough, I have friends who aren't so technologically challenged. My friend Carolyn has started a blog for technophobes like me, called The Wonder of Tech. She writes about things called Androids and PSPs and the iPad, which I got for Christmas. I love it, because it's about as low tech as such devices come. Once you learn how to use a Mac, you can pretty much figure out any Apple product. (Although it took me a while to figure out how to turn off my iPod, which I use at the gym. That's okay, I just listen to the Monkees all the way home. "Cheer up Sleepy Jean," I sing as I swing through the roundabouts.)
Stuck in the sixties, musically as well as technologically, I am.
Go check out Carolyn's blog if you're a techie and like to read the latest Android news. (Malware! That sounds really icky! Glad my phone's dumber than a post and doesn't get infected with malware. Of course it does call random Germans sometimes, from my pocket.) (And now that I think about it, that's kinda icky.)
And if you're a technophobe like me, you'll find easy-to-understand advice and tips, written by someone who's as good at writing about tech is she is at using it. I mean, how many people know the past tense of "sync" is not "sank"?
And if you want to know how to make the most of your gym workout, go here. Great advice for gym rats like me, all on a low-tech website even technophobes like me can understand.
And our good times start and end
Without dollar one to spend!
How much baby do we really need!
Cheer up, Sleepy Jean!
(Do they sing that on Glee? Huh? Do they?)