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7/16/07
All Hail Satellite TV

So I'm sure that you're all dying to know about Tony's satellite overindulgences. It was actually touch and go there for a little while. DishNetwork informed us that they would be there sometime between noon and 5, which was fine. Tony waited patiently like a kid before Christmas, which is to say, not at all. He paced, he checked his watch, he kept his nose glued to the front window. And at 1:30, he yelled "there they are!" and raced out of the house before the satellite van could even pull to a complete stop. Satellite guy tossed his ladder up against the house, climbed two stories up in the air like it was nothing, and attached our brand new satellite to our house. And that's when we hit the first snag. It seems that usual satellite installation procedure is to run the wire from the satellite to the cable box via the gutter system. Our gutters, however, didn't run over to the cable box. Also, our cable box was next to our power lines, which satellite guy was absolutely not allowed to get close to, for fear of being electrocuted to a crispy critter. (I didn't think that electrocution was such a major sacrifice in exchange fore giving us satellite, but he was insistent. Absolutely NO getting next to the power lines). His solution was to bypass the gutters and power lines and just run his wires right across our siding, which let me tell you, would just be c-l-a-s-s-y! No dice on that one. I'm not having a giant wire run the width of my house across the front of my siding. Tony asked if satellite guy had run across this before, and the guy shrugged and said sure, but other people usually just decided not to get the satellite rather than drape wires all over their house. If it had just been me, I would have joined those people, but Tony's face was so despondent at the very idea that I just couldn't do that to him. We all stood around the side of the house and pondered. It was actually Tony, sensing his precious satellite slipping away from him, that came up with the winning idea. Why couldn't we run the wire down the gutter to the ground, through the flower bed along the side of the house, and back up the other side, approaching the cable box from below, and thus, avoiding the power lines? Satellite guy though about it. Yep, that could work. Hooray! The satellite is saved! Hooray! With the crisis averted, I went back inside the house, and satellite guy began to very carefully maneuver his very through my very thorny rose bushes.

The second snag happened about a half hour later. Satellite guy informed Tony that the cable wire that they used for our house wasn't used anymore. He had to get his special cable converter thingie to fix it. Then they couldn't find the main cable line (I say they because when I came down a couple hours later, both the satellite guy and Tony were crawling around under the house with flashlights), then whoever wired up our house originally apparently did a crazy job of it, and wires were spliced off everywhere, and satellite guy was just sure that this would never work. Nevertheless, they installed everything, held their breaths, crossed their fingers, and hit the power button. The satellite configured for a moment, and just when they were sure that it hadn't worked after all, the weather channel popped up. Hooray! It works! Hooray! We have satellite! Satellite guy just kept shaking his head and saying things like, "Well, I don't know how it's working, but it's working. You have a very strong signal". (My guess is that the signal strength is based on Tony's sheer will for it to work). And it only took a mere 5 and a half hours to install it. Satellite guy left at 7pm, (which was good because I was wondering if we were going to have to invite him to stay for the night) and Tony did his happy dance as he flipped through his brand new 200 channels. ("Look sweetie! A channel dedicated solely to Modern Zimbabwean Hip-hop reggae! And here is it in Spanish too!")

There is a down side to satellite though. Even though Tony gets all the sports stations from across the country, the teams can apparently choose to black out the games for anyone not in their particular region (Why, I don't know...you'd think that they'd want fans everywhere, but no). So Tony got to watch all the Chicago commercials, and all of the Chicago pre-game talk, and all the Chicago post-game talk, but not the actual game itself. Much weeping and gnashing of teeth over that one. It seems that having Fox Sports Chicago doesn't actually do us much good when it comes to watching actual baseball games. (Tony is starting an anti-blackout campaign. Write your congressman! Write your local stations! Write your teams! Express your outrage over blacking out baseball games!) Don't feel too bad for Tony though. He still gets about 80 other non-blacked out sports stations to choose from, and he'll get all the football and hockey games. So he's far from pitiful.

How do I like satellite? I don't know. I have to re-learn all the channels of my favorite stations. (Although I do know that Modern Zimbabwean Hip-hop reggae, the Spanish version, is on channel 9948). Other than that, I have no idea how to work it yet. They gave us complicated new remotes, which include buttons that do things like pause live TV, reconfigure the satellite to automatically spy on Canada, and trigger a nuclear war with Greenland. (What I can't figure out is how to turn the blasted TV off. Right now I'm just getting my lazy butt off the couch, walking over to the TV and hitting the power button on it). Every other person in the house, however, especially ones who have no desire to turn the TV off EVER AGAIN, are in 7th Heaven. Tony's actual words yesterday: "This is the best thing that's happened to me since we got married". This man obviously really loves his TV. All hail the satellite dish!

1 comment:

Ned Hughes said...

This is quite funny. But I can't believe that most people would rather just not get satellite than have wires on their house. It's just a wire, people.