Gardening GlimpsesBy MRS. HERMAN MCKENZIE,
Anyone who reads this column with any sort of regularity knows of my devotion to the Weather Channel, which I refer to as my “Home Channel,” and my other realization that the Weather Channel really comes alive for you, once you know people from other states, other parts of this country, and other countries of the world. For me of course this means my friendships from within the American Daffodil Society, expanded over the years, as I’ve traveled.
Son Kevin, beginning the first of the year’s travels, managed one more week of obliviousness to the impact of the weather. He called me from Las Vegas last night, where he’s doing a corporate show, and said he was calling from the Palazzio, “Had I heard of it?,” and that the traveling weather was “okay,” and that for a week he’d be indoors and any pictures he’d email me would be of the interior of this elegant hotel.
I wasn’t interested enough to check the spelling of this, one of Vegas’ finest, and even forgot to ask, “Are the headliners anybody I was likely to know about?” which I ought to remember, because one of my younger friends always wants to know.
Even before Kevin left, there was a difference. And tonight I noted that I was getting weary of the weather from everywhere much earlier than usual.
One reason has to do with technology, or my incompetence with anything requiring knowledge of how machines, of the small hand-held variety, such as TV remote controls and telephones, up to and including the I-Phone.
It just so happened that the wonderfully advertised C-Spire came to our street of our subdivision just about five weeks ago, bringing with it all sorts of changes in the way we look at television programs. Now I have to be grateful if I can get the Weather Channel when I turn the infernal machine on. Doesn’t always happen.
But the rest of my general statement was, “First I turn on the Weather Channel, and check the world with my first two cups of coffee. Then I go to my seven sports channels, and return to the weather.”
And when Kevin would come downstairs, and he’s the sort who will barely tolerate “Good morning” with his orange juice, and doesn’t really want to know anything else, even if it’s that his lottery ticket seems to be the winning number, for at least an hour.
He hates all sports programs, and so he used to have my permission to change it to whatever he chose, as long as there was a guarantee that I wouldn’t have to look at, listen to, or hear anything about Donald Trump. Which wiped out all the news channels.
Then he’d go to the History Channel, where the only forbidden subjects (forbidden by me) were tank warfare or Hitler. So we always wound up, with his breakfast, with the same technology demonstration of how they made the leather seatcovers for the Rolls Royce.
When grandson Mason came to visit, I’d even learned how to get to Netflix, and we’d enjoy the various adventures of Thomas the Tank Engine.
I didn’t dream how my life was about to change, and my frustration level multiplied, until the morning Kevin handed me a thick printout of all the stations and programs that would be available “if we change to C-Spire instead of Comcast.” And along the way, change to ATT.
It developed that to get any of the Netflix programs, you had to use a totally different remote control, and I think it is settled that this is going to happen, because we have discovered the vast world available on there, and now have a routine of watching “Downton Abbey,” which I totally missed when it was new. We’d gotten through the first eight before he had to leave.
But he doesn’t know me as well as he thought. I’d said to him, “When this happened before, we lost all of my saved episodes.” He had assured me that this wouldn’t happen now, but turns out if they are to remain, we’ll have to pay for two services.
And when I pitched an absolute fit, “Where were my carefully chosen tapes of my beloved Miss. State basketball girls?” And here is the tough part - “How am I going to tape the future ones?” He has finally accepted that when Duke’s men’s team or the undefeated MSU Lady Bulldogs are on, I am going to tape them.
But, alas, I am a slow learner when it comes to handheld devices, (example: I cannot, under stress, remember which button will mute the sound, and wind up having to turn the whole thing off.
And right now I’m struggling with how to get to any of the sports channels at all, and to get to the SEC Channel - missed the first quarter of the Lady Bulldogs game this afternoon, though fortunately I had to find the game yesterday on the programming channel and set it to tape.
Why can’t technology ever make things simpler, rather than far more complicated?