December 13, 2008

In the Streets, the Children Screamed...

... But not about the day the music died.

It will start with yelling in the middle of the night. Middle-aged men cursing and throwing things. Bar owners and patrons disgusted, and choosing to go home early. People that otherwise sleep soundly will lie awake, staring at the ceiling.

For a while, things will calm down, but by sunrise the unsettled feeling will spread again. Children will cry. No amount of Lucky Charms will console them. People will be late for work, unable to gauge their morning routines. Business people will feel uninformed. Chaos will reign across America.

Two things are for sure: This day WILL come... and for most of us, it is avoidable.

I can't wait for it to come. The sooner the better. In fact, every time I am reminded of it, I want to scream. I want the waiting to be over. One more reminder and it will be me screaming and throwing things.

The date: February 17, 2009.

That is the day that analog broadcast television ends, and all television will be digital. Conan O'Brien will be replaced with snow. No more Barney. No more Wiggles. No more Today Show. No more Regis and Kelly.

(OK, so 'No More Barney' is a good thing...)

Unless you get the box.

This doesn't really affect me... at least not after February 17. I have digital cable, and yes, I have crappy analog televisions, but who cares? The cable box works the digital magic for me. But it affects me today, dammit!

What gets me about this is that about once an hour that infernal crawl comes on the screen reminding people about the conversion. It screws up the video quality of what I am watching, the audio often gets louder... it is very annoying.

I know.

I get it.

Get the damn digital box before February 17.

But here's the thing. I am already watching cable. I don't NEED the box.

Why are you reminding ME?

I am old enough to remember a world where there were still a few people that didn't have televisions... they hadn't taken that technological leap from radio - and in fact, more than a few radios still had tubes instead of transistors. My guess is, these are the same people that today do not have cable. I am not worried about them... considering the fact that most of the television-less people in 1965 were already 50 years old... so today they're pushing 95. They already have cable. Or they have a guy that comes over and fixes things.

If you don't have cable (or some sort of digital converter) today, and you're reading this... Go out and get the damn box, call your television station, tell them thanks for the reminder, and they can now turn that damn crawl off.

I expect it to be gone by the time I get home from work.

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